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T.  owT»  M.  DE^VITI 


Maryland's  Colonial  Eastern  Shore 

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Ul  t.  §  Q  o 

Maryland's  Colonial 
Eastern  Shore 

Historical  Sketches  of  Counties  and  of 

Some  Notable  Structures  \  \  ^/.  i  \  / 


PERCY  G.  SKIRVEN,  Asst.  Edit. 

Baltimore,  Maryland 


Copyright,  mi 6,  by 

Swepson  Earie  and  Percy  G.  Skirven 

All  Rights  Reserved 

Munder-Thomsen  Press 
baltimore   :   :  new  york 


I  fondly  dedicate  this  book  to 
the  memory  of  my  grandfather, 
Samuel  Thomas  Earle, 
of  "Melfield,"  Queen  Anne's 
County.  A  progressive  agricul- 
turist until  his  death,  (iqo4),  in 
the  87th  year  of  his  age;  a  man 
who  loved  his  family  and  home, 
and  one  ever  ready  to  extend  a 
helping  hand  to  his  friends  and 
neighbors;  an  Eastern  Shore- 
man of  the  Old  School. 




Frontispiece Map  of  Maryland 

Preface xiii 

Introduction        James  A.  Pearce  ....  xvii 

KENT  COUNTY Percy  G.  Skirven  .      .      .      .  i 

Hubbard  Place        7 

Camell's  Worthmore .      .  lO 

CoMEGYs  House 12 

Caulk's  Field 14 

St.  Paul's  Church 15 


Suffolk.   Lamb's  Meadows iq,  20 

Trumpington 21 


TALBOT  COUNTY John  H._  K.  Shannahan  .      .  24 

Wye  House ^q 

The  Rich  Neck        31 

Perry  Cabin 33 

The  Anchorage 35 

Long  Point 37 

The  Wilderness 3Q 

Otwell 41 

Wye  Heights 42 

Ratcliffe  Manor 43 

Hampden        44 

SOMERSET  COUNTY li.  Fillmore  Lankford      .      .  46 

Workington 51 

Rehoboth  Church 53 

Makepeace.   Old  Lankford  Home .      .      .      .55,  56 

Kingston  Hall 57 

Washington  Hotel 5Q 

Teackle  Mansion 61 

Beechwood 62 

Beckford 64 

Clifton 66 

DORCHESTER  COUNTY W.  Laird  Henry  ....  68 

Warwick  Fort  Manor  House 74 

The  Old  Dorchester  House 76 

The  Point 77 

Hambrook 7Q 

Castle  Haven 81 

Eldon 83 

Glasgow 85 

Old  Trinity  Church 87 

Rehoboth 8q 

CECIL  COUNTY Henry  L.  Constable    .      .      .  qi 

Bohemia  Manor q6 

Frenchtown  House q8 



Holly  Hall 

Partridge  Hill.   Gilpin  Manor loi, 

Tobias  Rudulph  House 


St.  Stephen's  Church 

Perry  Point 


QUEEN  ANNE'S  COUNTY DeCourcy  W.  Thorn  .      .      . 

The  Hermitage 


Old  Point 


Walnut  Grove 

Reed's  Creek 


Old  Pratt  House 

Poplar  Grove.   Bloomfield  . 131. 

Melfield .      .      . 

WORCESTER  COUNTY Samuel  K.  Dennis     .      .      . 


Timmons  Mansion 


All  Hallows  Church 

Old  Furnace ; 

St.  Martin's  Church 

Burley  Cottage      

Decatur  Birthplace 

SiNEPUXENT  Inlet ' 

CAROLINE  COUNTY Edward  T.  Tubbs       .      .      . 

Frazier's  Flats  House 

Murray's  Mill 

Potter  Mansion ■ 

Neck  Meeting  House 

Oak  Lawn 

Cedarhurst.   Thawley  House 173 

Castle  Hall 


WICOMICO  COUNTY L.  Irving  PoUitt    .      .      .      . 

Old  Green  Hill  Church 

Pemberton  Hall .      . 

Poplar  Hill  Mansion        

'Rokawakin"  Church 

Ben  Davis  House 

Birthplace  of  Samuel  Chase 

Spring  Hill  Church 

Bishop  Stone  Hol  se 

Cherry  Hill 
















Washington  College James  W.  Cain    .      .      .      .   200 

Simple  Life  on  the  Eastern  Shore 203 



THE  reader  will  observe  that  this  book  is  the  result  of  true  Eastern  Shore 
cooperation.  Historical  facts,  as  well  as  traditions,  could  only  be  procured  from 
those  familiar  with  their  own  particular  sections  of  our  Peninsula. 

Judge  James  Alfred  Pearce  in  his  splendid  tribute  to  the  Eastern  Shore  tells  of 
the  land  of  our  forefathers.  He  calls  attention  to  the  productiveness  of  our  Penin- 
sula. He  speaks  of  men  of  distinction  who  were  born  on  the  land  lying  on  the 
easterly  side  of  the  Chesapeake.  Every  citizen  of  the  Eastern  Shore  knows,  either 
personally  or  by  reputation,  this  distinguished  jurist  of  Kent  and  for  his  contribu- 
tion alone  this  book  will  be  valued  by  many. 

The  principal  reasons  for  my  determination  to  publish  this  book  are  as  follows: 

First :  There  seems  to  be  a  demand  for  a  publication  of  this  character,  because 
the  average  Marylander  is  unfamiliar  with  the  geography  and  history  of  this  part 
of  his  State.  This  applies  to  residents  of  the  tidewater  as  well  as  of  the  interior 
sections  of  Maryland.  While  residents  of  each  county  are  more  or  less  familiar  with 
the  geography  and  history  of  their  particular  county,  their  knowledge  of  other 
counties  is  often  very  limited,  and  it  is  hoped  that  this  book  will  be  of  use  and 
permanent  value  to  those  who  are  interested  in  these  subjects. 

Second :  To  interest  all  Eastern  Shoremen  and  the  general  public  in  old  land- 
marks of  the  State  that  are  fast  disappearing  with  the  march  of  time.  The  early 
settlers  received  grants  to  tracts  of  land  from  the  proprietary  government  of  the 
Calverts  and  built  their  homes  along  the  banks  of  the  Chesapeake  and  its  tribu- 
taries. Their  descendants  inherited  these  properties,  usually  subdivided  among 
large  families,  and  built  other  houses.    A  chain  of  these  colonial  homes  is  found  in 


all  the  counties  and  they  form  connecting  links  in  the  family  histories.  With  their 
passing  and  the  loss  of  family  records  future  genealogical  research  will  be  made  dif- 
ficult, and  in  some  cases  impossible. 

Third:  The  interest  in  the  affairs  of  the  Eastern  Shore  manifested  by  the 
members  of  the  Eastern  Shore  Society  of  Baltimore  City  was  an  additional  incen- 
tive to  produce  this  compilation  and  I  hope  the  work  will  prove  a  further  stimulant 
to  their  interest  in  the  delightful  land  of  their  birth.  This  society  is  composed  of 
natives  of  the  Eastern  Shore  who  are  residents  of  the  City  of  Baltimore.  They  are 
formed  into  chapters — one  for  each  of  the  nine  counties.  The  compilation  includes 
a  historical  sketch  of  each  county  and  short  sketches  describing  nine  places  of  his- 
torical interest  in  that  county.  The  sketch  for  each  county  has  been  contributed 
by  a  well-known  county  man  familiar  with  its  history.  Indeed,  the  love  for  and 
interest  in  their  native  land  shown  by  all  Marylanders  now  living  where'er  it  has 
pleased  God  to  call  them  has  been  sufficient  inspiration  to  undertake  this  publica- 

To  do  credit  to  all  of  the  important  historical  places  on  the  Eastern  Shore  of 
Maryland  worthy  to  be  included  in  this  publication  would  require  a  volume  of 
several  times  this  size.  It  is  with  regret  that  I  am  obliged  to  leave  out  such  well- 
known  places  as  "Gilpin  Manor"  and  "The  Washington  House,"  of  Cecil;  "Broad- 
nox,"  "Janvier  Homestead,"  "Worton  Manor,"  "Stoneton,"  and  the  homes  of 
the  Wickes,  Perkins  and  Beck  families,  of  Kent;  "Cloverfields,"  "Conquest," 
"Sunnyside,"  "Wye,"  "Cheston-on-Wye,"  "Bolingly"  and  the  Wilmer  and  Embert 
homesteads,  of  Queen  Anne's;  "Hope,"  "Perry  Hall,"  "The  Rest."  "Myrtle Grove," 
"Plimhimmon,  "  "Beechwood,  "  "Fairview,"  "Bolton"  and  other  places,  of  Talbot; 
"Arlington,"  "Westover,"  ''The  Cedars,"  and  "Almodington,"  of  Somerset;  "The 
Hill,  "  and  the  homes  of  the  Stewart,  Bayly,  and  Simmons  families,  in  Cambridge, 
the  Hooper  and  Edmondson  homes  in  East  New  Market,  and  "John's  Point,  "  the 
colonial  home  of  Col.  Roger  Woolford,  of  Dorchester;  and  other  homesteads  scat- 
tered throughout  our  Peninsula;  but  in  order  to  cover  each  county  geographically 
the  selection  had  to  be  made  without  any  discrimination  on  my  part. 

The  shores  of  the  nine  counties  known  as  "The  Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland" 
bear  the  distinction  of  being  washed  by  the  Chesapeake  Bay  or  one  or  more  of  its 
tributaries.  During  the  days  of  the  Colony  there  was  an  unlimited  supply  of  game 
and  wild  water-fowl  and  the  game  pegs  are  still  found  in  the  cellars  of  old  houses, 
then  seldom  relieved  of  their  burdens,  and  on  the  cellar  floors  beneath  the  "canvas- 
backs"  and  "red-heads"  crawled  the  diamond-back  terrapin — no  luxury  in  those 
days — -"just  food  for  all  white  folks,"  the  poor  and  rich  had  a  bountiful  supply  of 
them  and  fared  alike.  In  fact,  at  one  time  there  was  a  law  on  the  statute  books  of 
Maryland  limiting  the  number  of  times  slaves  were  to  be  fed  on  terrapin  each  week. 
While  these  resources  have  been  very  much  depleted,  oysters,  fish  and  crabs  are  still 
plentiful  and  with  the  enforcement  of  conservation  laws  and  broader  education  on 
the  subject  the  supply  of  these  water-riches  should  remain  with  us  for  many  years 
to  come. 

[  xiv  1 

The  compilation  of  the  data  contained  in  this  book  represents  considerable 
time  and  research.  To  Mr.  Percy  G.  Skirven,  a  member  of  the  Eastern  Shore  Societ\- 
and  a  native  of  Kent  County,  author  of  the  historical  sketch  for  that  county,  my 
thanks  are  gratefully  extended.  He  has  worked  continuously  with  me  in  the  com- 
pilation and  arrangement  of  the  data.  He  has  also  vised  much  of  the  matter  in  the 
book,  in  which  work  his  knowledge  of  Maryland's  history  and  land  grants  has 
made  his  aid  invaluable.  The  majority  of  the  illustrations  appearing  herein  are 
from  a  large  collection  of  photographs  of  Maryland  scenes  taken  by  me  while 
engaged  in  surveying  the  waters  of  the  Chesapeake  and  its  tributaries.  The  publi- 
cation of  this  book  required  the  outlay  of  considerable  money  and  two  public- 
spirited  members  of  the  Eastern  Shore  Society,  Mr.  B.  Howard  Haman  and  Mr. 
Wilbur  W.  Hubbard,  of  Kent  County,  came  forward  and  made  it  financially  pos- 
sible.   My  sincere  appreciation  and  thanks  are  extended  to  these  two  gentlemen. 

Many  members  of  the  Eastern  Shore  Society  and  residents  of  the  State  have 
aided  in  this  work  in  other  ways  and  to  these  I  feel  under  many  obligations  for 
their  assistance.  The  President,  Judge  W.  Laird  Henry:  Past  Presidents  Dr.  J. 
Clement  Clark  and  Dr.  James  Bordley,  Jr.,  and  the  Vice-Presidents  of  the  Society 
have  helped  greatly.  The  Secretary,  Mr.  J.  H.  K.  Shannahan,  has  been  untiring 
in  his  efforts.  In  addition  to  these,  my  thanks  are  extended  to  Judge  Pearce  and 
Mrs.  Wilbur  W.  Hubbard,  of  Kent;  Mr.  Milton  Campbell,  Gen.  Joseph  B.  Seth, 
Mr.  Frank  W.  Seth,  Mr.  W.  Thomas  Kemp,  Col.  Richard  H.  Spencer,  Mr.  Francis 
B.  Culver  and  Mr.  Wilson  M.  Tylor,  of  Talbot;  Mr.  H.  Fillmore  Lankford,  Mrs. 
Elizabeth  H.  Gale,  Mr.  Henry  J.  Waters,  Mrs.  J.  Douglas  Wallop,  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
H.  E.  Collins,  Mr.  J.  Weldon  Green  and  Mr.  Joseph  Y.  Brattan,  of  Somerset;  Miss 
Nellie  Calvert  Carroll,  of  Dorchester,  to  whom  I  feel  deeply  indebted  for  her  suc- 
cessful efforts  in  securing  pictures  and  data  for  the  Dorchester  sketches,  also  to  Mr. 
James  S.  Shepherd,  Land  Commissioner  of  Maryland ;  Mr.  Henry  L.  Constable,  of 
Cecil;  Mr.  DeCourcy  W.  Thom,  Mr.  A.  S.  Goldsborough,  Mr.  Madison  Brown, 
Mr.  F.  Julien  Bailey,  Miss  Susan  Williams,  Mr.  Edward  B.  Emory,  of  Queen  Anne's ; 
Mr.  Samuel  K.  Dennis,  Mr.  John  W.  Staton  and  Mr.  William  R.  Bishop,  of  Wor- 
cester; Mr.  J.  Dukes  Downes,  Mr.  Howard  Melvin,  Capt.  Charles  W.  Wright,  Col. 
Albert  W.  Sisk,  Mr.  J.  Kemp  Stevens,  Mr.  Charles  B.  Harrison  and  Mr.  Edward 
T.  Tubbs,  of  Caroline — Mr.  Tubbs,  in  addition  to  writing  the  history  of  his  county, 
has  aided  with  the  sketches  and  the  arrangement  of  the  work;  Mr.  L.  Irving  Pollitt 
and  Judge  E.  Stanley  Toadvine,  of  Wicomico.  I  am  indebted  to  these  and  many 
others  who  have  cooperated  with  me  in  the  publication  of  these  stories  of  Mary- 
land's Colonial  Eastern  Shore,  thereby  placing  in  the  hands  of  the  reader  original 
data  and  authentic  information  of  that  favored  part  of  Maryland  that  lies  east  of 
the  Chesapeake  Bay. 




Know  ye  the  land  of  the  cedar  and  vine. 
Where  the  flowers  ever  blossom,  the  beams  ever  shine. 
Where  the  light  winds  of  zephyr,  oppressed  with  perfume. 
Wax  faint  o'er  the  gardens  of  rose  in  their  bloom; 
Where  the  peach  and  the  melon  are  choicest  of  fruit. 
And  the  voice  of  the  mocking  bird  never  is  mute; 
Where  the  tints  of  the  earth  and  the  hues  of  the  sky. 
In  color  though  varied,  in  beauty  may  vie? 
Tis  the  land  of  the  favored  Eastern  Shore, 
Where  nature  has  lavished  its  marvelous  store. 

Local  adaptation  of  The  Bride  of  Abydos. 

FROM  the  rock-ribbed  hills  of  Cecil,  where  the  vocal  waters  of  the 
Octoraro  and  the  Elk  are  lost  in  the  Susquehanna  and  the  Chesa- 
peake, to  the  cypress  swamps  and  green  lagoons  of  the  Pocomoke, 
whose  silent  current  seeks  the  sea,  there  is  a  succession  of  noble 
streams  as  fair  "as  e'er  the  sun  shone  on."  The  Shannon,  the  Chester, 
the  Wye,  the  Miles,  the  Tred  Avon  and  the  Warwick  are  redolent 
of  our  English  ancestry.  The  Bohemia  recalls  Augustine  Herman  and 
the  Dutch  settlers  in  Delaware.  The  Corsica,  which  joins  the  Chester 
at  Spaniard's  Point,  hints  at  the  French  and  Spanish  element  attracted 
by  the  promise  of  civil  and  religious  liberty  for  all ;  while  the  Chop- 
tank,  the  Nanticoke,  the  Wicomico,  the  Manokin  and  the  Pocomoke 
tell  of  the  Indians  who  were  once  the  undisputed  lords  of  the  soil. 

Strung  upon  these  beautiful  rivers,  like  jewels  upon  silver  threads, 
were  the  old  manor  houses — ^some  costly  and  stately,  others  plain  and 
unpretentious — and  the  substantial  homes  of  the  pioneers  of  civiliza- 
tion whose  only  early  paths  of  travel  were  waterways,  and  whose 
vehicles  of  business  and  pleasure  were  barges  and  canoes.  Now  that 
so  many  denizens  of  our  great  cities  and  busy  towns  having  the 
wealth  or  the  competence  which  invites  retirement  from  the  toil  and 
hazards  of  active  business  are  seeking  for  rural  homes;  now  that  the 
automobile,  with  the  finest  system  of  macadam  roads,  has  solved  the 
question  of  mileage,  the  attractions  of  the  Eastern  Shore  to  home- 
seekers  ought  to  be  made  known  to  the  public  beyond  its  limits.  While 
this  volume  originated  in  Mr.  Earle's  wish  to  stimulate  the  interest  of 
Maryland  men  and  women  in  the  history  of  this  part  of  the  State, 
the  careful  text  and  beautiful  photographic  illustrations  of  the  old 
historic  homes  cannot  fail  to  give  it  wider  publicity,  and  there  are 
few  regions  which  combine  greater  natural  attractions  and  finer  asso- 


ciations  with  moderate  land  values  and  better  prospect  of  substantial 
and  steady  increase.  Here  is  a  fertile  soil ;  a  mild  and  equable  climate, 
with  absolute  immunity  from  the  storms  and  floods  so  destructive  in 
some  other  highly  favored  regions;  numerous  navigable  streams  of 
rare  beauty,  teeming  with  fish  and  oysters,  and  providing  short  and 
easy  access  to  Baltimore,  and  proximity  to  the  three  largest  cities  of 
the  Atlantic  Coast,  with  every  rail  facility  to  their  markets  as  well 
as  to  those  of  central  and  more  western  States. 

Many  families  are  the  lineal  descendants  of  some  of  the  best  blood 
of  Old  England  and  the  great  majority  are  of  the  lineage  of  those 
sturdy  lovers  of  civil  and  religious  liberty  in  equal  combination,  which 
in  spite  of  Magna  Charta  they  did  not  enjoy  at  home.  Our  people 
are  more  homogeneous  in  origin  and  character  than  those  of  any  other 
region  except  the  mountain  ranges  which  stretch  from  the  Potomac 
to  the  Great  Bend  of  the  Tennessee'  River.  Here  was  bred  and  born 
Robert  Morris,  the  financier  of  the  Revolution — ^Samuel  Chase,  the 
Carnot  of  that  period — ^Tench  Tilghman,  the  trusted  staff  officer  of 
General  Washington  throughout  the  weary  years  of  the  struggle  for 
independence — and  John  Dickinson,  the  statesman  to  whose  wisdom 
and  patriotism  the  Earl  of  Chatham  bore  witness  in  Parliament  in 
speaking  of  the  petition  to  the  King  written  by  him,  and  declaring 
"that  all  attempts  to  impose  servitude  on  such  men  must  be  in  vain." 
From  that  source,  too,  were  recruited  in  part  the  command  of  General 
Smallwood,  which  at  Long  Island  Heights  saved  Washington's  army 
from  destruction,  and  that  of  Colonel  Howard,  which  at  Cowpens 
humiliated  the  British  regulars  and  gained  one  of  the  most  important 
victories  of  the  war  in  its  results. 

One  who  in  his  splendid  young  manhood  fought  with  Forrest 
throughout  the  war  between  the  States,  now  in  his  splendid  old  age 
a  distinguished  surgeon  in  New  York  City  and  a  patriotic  lover  of 
the  reunited  country,  has  happily  described  his  people  and  comrades 
of  North  Alabama  as  "then  and  still  clean-cut  Americans,  uncon- 
taminated  by  contact  or  association  with  the  restless,  poverty-stricken 
and  discontented  hordes  of  immigrants  who  are  crowding  our  shores 
in  these  latter  days,  either  as  anarchists  who,  like  shedding  snakes, 
strike  blindly  and  viciously  at  everything  which  moves,  or  like  the 
Socialists,  whose  aim  is  seemingly  to  bring  all  human  endeavor  to  the 

XVI 11 

common  level  of  mediocrity.  Should  the  safety  of  our  institutions 
ever  be  endangered,  I  prophesy  that  these  men  of  the  foothills  and 
mountains  of  the  South  will  be  the  strongest  guarantee  of  law  and 
order."  These  words  may  be  fitly  and  without  immodesty  claimed  to 
be  applicable  to  the  people  of  the  Eastern  Shore.  The  Appalachians 
long  isolated,  and  still  in  large  degree  isolate,  the  people  of  whom 
he  spoke;  and  until  in  recent  years  the  network  of  railways  on  the 
Eastern  Shore  was  developed,  the  Chesapeake  and  Delaware  Bays 
isolated  the  Peninsula  which  they  form.  In  both  regions  the  pure 
blood  of  our  English  ancestry  has  remained  almost  unmixed.  In 
the  plain  and  simple  homes,  such  as  Elihu  Root  referred  to  in  his 
eloquent  address  to  the  1915  Constitutional  Convention  of  New  York, 
"truth  and  honor  dwelt,"  and  from  these  homes.  North  and  South, 
have  come  some  of  the  ablest  men  and  purest  patriots  who  in  civil 
or  military  life  have  devoted  themselves  to  the  service  of  their  country. 

Chestertown,  Md., 
November  i,  iqi6 




KING  CHARLES  I  of  England  gave  explicit  instructions  to  the 
Governor  of  Virginia  in  1627  to  procure  for  him  exact  informa- 
tion concerning  the  bays  and  rivers  of  the  country  adjacent  to  the 
settlement  on  the  James  River.  William  Claiborne,  then  Secretary 
of  the  Virginia  Colony,  was  commissioned  by  the  governor  to  explore 
the  Chesapeake  Bay  and  its  tributaries.  While  thus  engaged,  Clai- 
borne traded  with  the  Indians  for  furs  on  what  is  now  called  Kent 
Island.  Later  a  settlement  was  made  there  and  a  regular  trading  port 
established.  The  name  "Kentish  Isle"  being  given  by  Claiborne  to 
that  island  led  the  Calverts  when  they  came  into  possession  of  the 
Province  of  Maryland  in  1634  to  name  the  whole  of  the  upper  Eastern 
Shore,  lying  north  of  the  Choptank  River,  the  "/^/e  of  Kent.^^ 

Eight  years  later,  August  2,  1642,  mention  is  made  in  the  colonial 
records  of  the  Province  of  the  "Sheriff  of  Kent  County."  This  record 
indicates  the  creation  of  the  county,  it  being  the  second  civil  division 
of  the  Province  of  Maryland.  The  members  of  the  Colonial  Assembly 
represented  at  that  time,  at  St.  Mary's  City,  only  two  civil  divisions 
of  the  Province,  St.  Mary's  and  Isle  of  Kent  County.  By  colonial 
records  showing  the  appointment  in  1661  of  commissioners  "for  that 
part  of  the  Province  lying  south  of  the  Choptank  River  newly  seated 
called  the  Eastern  Shore,"  which  territory  was  later  divided  into  the 
Counties  of  Somerset  and  Dorchester,  it  is  shown  conclusively  that 
all  of  that  part  of  the  Province  on  the  south  side  of  the  Choptank  was 
the  "Eastern  Shore"  and  all  on  the  north  side  was  then  known  as 
the  ^'Isle  of  Kent."  From  this  part  of  Maryland,  known  as  the  ''Isle 
of  Kent,"  the  following  counties  were  created :  Kent  County,  in  1642; 
part  of  Baltimore  County,  seventeen  years  later,  in  1659;  Talbot 
County,  twenty  years  later,  in  1662;  Cecil  County,  thirty-two  years 
later,  in   1674,  (Cecil  was  made  of  that  part  of  Baltimore  County 



officially  designated  as  "East  Baltimore  County"  that  lay  on  the 
eastern  side  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay) ;  Queen  Anne's  County,  sixty- 
four  years  later,  in  1706,  (it  being  created  from  the  upper  part  of 
Talbot  County);  and  Caroline  County,  131  years  later,  in  1773,  (it 
being  formed  of  parts  of  Dorchester  and  Queen  Anne's  Counties). 

Through  lack  of  accurate  knowledge  of  the  geography  of  the  Prov- 
ince when  the  proclamation  erecting  Cecil  County  was  issued,  in 
1674,  Kent  County  was  limited  to  about  half  its  present  area.  This 
arrangement  proved  so  inconvenient  for  the  administration  of  its 
judicial  affairs  that  upon  petition  to  the  Assembly  the  Sassafras  River 
was  in  1 706  made  the  boundary  between  Kent  and  Cecil  Counties. 

Six  years  after  Claiborne  first  traded  with  the  Indians  on  the 
"Kentish  Isle"  the  colonists  led  by  Leonard  Calvert  landed,  on  March 
25,  1634,  at  St.  Mary's  and  took  possession  of  the  land  in  accordance 
with  the  provisions  laid  down  in  the  charter  which  King  Charles 
gave  to  Cecilius  Calvert.  This  charter  made  Cecilius  Calvert  the 
absolute  owner  of  all  the  land  lying  within  the  bounds  of  the  Province 
of  Maryland,  and  to  encourage  people  to  come  to  the  Province  to 
settle  the  land  was  "granted"  or  given  to  them  subject  to  a  small 
rent  payable  in  two  equal  instalments  at  the  Feast  of  the  Annuncia- 
tion and  at  Michaelmas  each  year  to  Lord  Baltimore's  representative 
in  the  Province.  The  conditions  under  which  these  grants  were  made 
changed  from  time  to  time,  but  the  first  grants  were  based  on  one 
hundred  acres  of  land  for  each  and  every  person  brought  into  the 
colony  by  the  person  applying  for  land.  Each  bore  the  name  selected 
by  the  colonist  and  very  often  was  that  of  the  locality  in  England 
from  which  he  came;  thus,  for  instance,  we  find  large  tracts  granted 
in  Kent  County  under  the  following  names:  "Arcadia,"  "Bucking- 
ham," "Drayton,"  "Denbeigh,"  "Essex,"  "Fairlee,"  "The  Grange," 
"Hinchingham,"  ''Kimbolton,"  "Lynn,"  "Pentridge,  "  "Ratcliffe," 
"Suffolk,"  "Stepney,"  "Thornton,"  "Tolchester,"  "Wickcliffe"  and 

Following  long-established  custom  in  England,  the  Proprietary 
created  in  the  counties  of  the  Province  courts  baron  and  courts  leet. 
To  Col.  Edward  Carter,  then  of  Nansemond  County,  Virginia,  Lord 
Baltimore  granted  "Worton,"  a  tract  of  land  containing  2,300  acres, 
lying  between  Still  Pond  Creek  and  Worton  Creek  and  bounded  on 


the  west  by  the  Chesapeake  Bay.  Incident  to  this  tract  was  the 
first  court  baron  in  Kent,  and  the  following  clause  is  from  the  original 
record : 

And  we  do  hereby  erect  the  said  Two  Thousand  Three  hundred  Acres 
into  a  Manner  by  the  name  of  Worton  Mannor  together  with  a  Court- 
Baron  and  all  things  belonging  thereunto  by  the  law  of  the  Custom  of 

"Worton  Manor"  was  early  acquired  by  John  Gale,  whose  descen- 
dants lived  there  for  over  a  century. 

It  was  on  "Huntingfield,"  a  grant  of  1,200  acres,  owned  by  Major 
James  Ringgold,  that  the  first  county  court  house  was  built  at  "New 
Yarmouth,"  in  Kent  County.  Through  the  influence  of  this  early 
colonist  the  town  was  laid  out  on  the  Gray's  Inn  Creek  side  of  "Hunt- 
ingfield"  prior  to  1680,  and  true  to  his  ancestral  home  he  named  the 
place  "New  Yarmouth."  This  original  county-seat  of  Kent  took  on 
great  activities  and  vessels  traded  regularly  with  the  English  ports. 
From  its  shipyards  large  vessels  for  ocean  traffic  were  launched. 

Along  the  Chester  River  and  its  tributaries  the  land  became  thickly 
settled  all  the  way  up  to  Crumpton  at  "Collister's  Ferry."  On  both 
sides  of  the  river  large  estates  were  granted  and  the  production  of 
tobacco  increased  to  such  an  extent  that  it  was  found  necessary  to 
establish  a  port  of  entry  farther  up  the  river  in  addition  to  "New 
Yarmouth";  this  was  done  at  the  present  site  of  Chestertown.  In 
i6q6  the  Assembly  authorized  the  Commissioners  of  Kent  County  to 
purchase  three  acres  of  land  "whereon  to  build  a  court  house."  It 
was  on  the  grant  called  "Stepney"  that  the  court  house  was  built, 
for  in  1708  the  Assembly  authorized  the  purchase  of  "fifty  acres  of 
land  at  Chester  Ferry  near  the  place  where  the  old  court  house  stood," 
which  was  to  be  "laid  out  and  divided  into  one  hundred  lots"  and  to 
be  called  Chestertown.  The  commissioners  entrusted  to  lay  out  the 
town  were  John  Carvill,  Daniel  Pearce,  Thomas  Covington,  Edward 
Bathurst,  Arthur  Miller,  William  Bateman,  Philip  Hoskins  and 
Capts.  William  Potts  and  Edward  Plastoe.  "Stepney,"  a  grant  of  500 
acres,  was  first  surveyed  for  Thomas  Bovery,  who  died  without  heirs, 
and  upon  the  escheating  of  the  land  to  the  Proprietary  it  was 
surveyed  again  for  Mary  Bateman.     In  an  old  deed  to  Thomas 



Joyce,  innholder,  from  Benjamin  Blackleach,  cordwainer,  loo  acres 
of  "Stepney"  is  described  as  being  on  the  west  side  of  Chester 
River  at  "Thomas  Seward's  Landing."  Thomas  Joyce  paid  7,000 
pounds  of  tobacco  for  the  100  acres — a  pound  being  worth  about 
eight  cents. 

The  removal  of  the  county-seat  to  Chestertown  from  "New  Yar- 
mouth" was  soon  followed  by  an  order  of  the  Council  in  1707  which 
reads  as  follows:  "All  towns,  rivers,  creeks  and  coves  in  Cecil,  Kent 
and  Queen  Anne's  Counties  (except  Kent  Island)  shall  be  deemed 
members  of  Chester  Town  in  Chester  River."  With  this  order  "New 
Yarmouth"  lost  its  last  chance  to  become  a  permanent  town  and  today 
only  a  few  scattered  bricks  can  be  seen  as  evidence  of  its  ever  having 
existed.  Other  towns  were  authorized  to  be  laid  out;  among  them 
were  "Shrewsbury  Town"  on  "Meeting  House  Point"  on  the  Sassafras 
River;  "Gloucester  Town  "  on  Cackaway  Point  on  Langford  Bay, 
and  "Milford  Town"  on  Swan  Creek.  These  towns  never  became 
more  than  landing  places  and  today  no  evidence  of  them  is  to  be 
found.  For  the  better  handling  of  the  tobacco  trade,  the  Assembly 
authorized  the  purchase  of  half  an  acre  of  ground  at  convenient  land- 
ing places  along  the  rivers  and  creeks,  to  be  called  "Public  Landings," 
"where  tobacco  may  be  brought  in  order  to  be  waterbourne  and  con- 
veyed to  any  town  of  this  province."  Upon  this  land  the  commis- 
sioners were  authorized  "to  build  rowling  [rolling]  houses  not  to  lie 
above  two  furlongs  from  the  water."  The  tobacco  in  casks  was  rolled 
from  the  plantations  to  the  landings. 

On  April  3,  1 701 ,  a  report  sent  to  the  Commissioners  of  Trade  and 
Plantations  in  England  by  Governor  Francis  Nicholson  shows  Kent 
County  at  that  time  had  707  taxable  inhabitants  and  1,223  others 
not  subject  to  a  tax,  a  total  of  1,930  inhabitants.  This  report  was 
subdivided  to  show  masters  of  families,  freewomen  and  servants,  free 
children,  (boys  and  girls) ;  free  men  and  serving  men,  servants,  (boys 
and  girls),  and  slaves.  In  171 2  there  were  2,886  inhabitants  in  the 

Kent  County  was  divided  into  hundreds  and  the  names  in  i6q6 
were  Town,  Lower  Chester  River,  Lower  Langford,  Swan  Creek, 
Island,  Eastern  Neck,  and  Chester  Upper  Hundred.  In  each  of  these 
hundreds  companies  of  soldiers  were  organized  for  protection  against 



the  Indians.  In  1705  the  Indians  had  been  giving  the  Province  con- 
siderable trouble  and  in  that  year  the  Assembly  designated  Philemon 
Lloyd,  of  Talbot,  Nathaniel  Hynson,  of  Kent,  and  Thomas  Addison  as 
commissioners  to  go  to  "Conestoga  or  farther  northward"  to  treat 
with  the  "Senequis"  Indians.  When  the  French  and  Indian  War 
broke  out  Kent  furnished  her  quota. 

In  1775  it  was  seen  that  war  with  Great  Britain  was  inevitable  and 
an  Association  of  the  Freemen  of  Maryland  was  formed,  all  of  the 
counties  being  represented.  Delegates  were  chosen  by  the  several 
counties  to  the  Provincial  Convention  which  met  at  Annapolis  on 
Wednesday,  the  26th  day  of  July,  1775,  and  appointed  a  committee 
to  consider  ways  and  means  to  put  the  Province  into  the  best  state  of 
defense.  The  following  were  the  Kent  delegates  to  the  Convention : 
William  Ringgold,  Col.  Richard  Lloyd, Thomas  Smythe,  Joseph  Earle 
and  Thomas  Bedingfield  Hands.  Chestertown  became  the  most  im- 
portant place  on  the  Eastern  Shore  for  the  accumulation  of  muni- 
tions and  firearms.  Elisha  Winters,  a  large  manufacturer  of  firearms, 
of  that  town,  was  designated  by  the  Council  of  Safety  the  official 
gunsmith  for  the  Eastern  Shore.  The  Council  of  Safety  consisted  of 
eight  men  from  the  Eastern  Shore  and  a  like  number  from  the  Western 
Shore.  So  important  had  Chestertown  become  in  1775  that  the 
Council  of  Safety  met  there  on  the  20th  of  October  of  that  year  and 
remained  in  session  there  for  about  a  week.  The  Kent  muster  rolls  bear 
names  of  about  i ,  500  of  her  citizens  who  volunteered  for  service  against 
Great  Britain.  These  volunteers  composed  the  Thirteenth  Battalion, 
commanded  by  Col.  Richard  Graves,  and  the  Twenty-seventh 
Battalion,  under  Col.  Donaldson  Yeates. 

When  the  call  for  minute  men  was  issued  in  January,  1776,  Kent 
County  furnished  a  company  consisting  of  four  officers,  four  sergeants, 
four  corporals,  one  surgeon,  one  fifer,  one  drummer  and  seventy  men 
"fit  for  duty."  Capt.  William  Henry  was  in  command.  They 
marched  from  Chestertown  on  the  2qth  of  January,  1776,  and  reached 
Northampton  Court  House,  Virginia,  on  the  12th  of  February.  The 
following  report  to  the  Council  of  Safety  at  Annapolis  is  interesting  to 
Kent  countians  as  it  shows  that  Kent  County's  minute  men  were  the 
first  to  reach  Northampton,  where  they  had  gone  to  assist  the  Vir- 
ginia troops  repel  the  threatened  British  invasion: 


Headquarters,  Northampton  C.  H.,  Va. 

Feby.  28th,  1776. 
Honble.  Gent' I. 

The  company  from  Kent  County  arrived  here  on  the  1 2th  instant 
and  the  company  from  Queen  Anne's  County  on  the  14th  in  good  health 
and  spirits.     .     .     . 

Gent'l  yr.  Obd't.  hble.  Servt's, 

Council  of  Safety  WILLIAM  HENRY 

Annapolis,  Md. 

Capt.  James  Kent  was  in  command  of  the  Queen  Anne's  company. 

At  Chestertown  in  1 707  the  first  free  school  in  Kent  County  was 
established,  it  being  under  the  supervision  of  the  rector  of  St.  Paul's 
Parish.  It  was  the  nucleus  which  later,  1723,  developed  into  the 
Kent  County  Free  School  and  still  later,  1782,  into  that  greater 
institution  of  learning — ^Washington  College. 

No  historical  sketch  of  this  old  county  would  be  complete  without 
mention  of  the  Quakers  who  at  one  time  formed  a  large  part  of  the 
population.  Their  meeting  house,  which  is  in  ruins  now,  stands  near 
Lynch.    It  was  built  about  i6qo. 

A  well-known  port  of  entry  twenty  years  prior  to  the  laying  out  of 
Baltimore,  Chestertown  was  the  center  of  the  trade  for  the  upper 
Eastern  Shore.  Here  the  vessels  came  with  the  tea  and  supplies  from 
foreign  lands  and  loaded  tobacco  and  furs  for  England.  Like  Annap- 
olis on  the  Western  Shore,  Chestertown  was  the  center  of  the  social 
world  of  the  Eastern  Shore,  and  to  read  of  delightful  entertaining  by 
the  "Colonial  Dames"  is  one  of  the  pleasures  of  occasional  contempla- 
tion of  the  history  of  this  quaint  old  town.  Chestertown  is  now  a 
prosperous  town,  and  is  on  the  finest  roads  in  the  United  States. 
These  roads  cover  the  whole  County  of  Kent  and  all  of  the  county 
can  be  reached  by  automobiles. 

Gracious,  dignified,  simple  in  habits,  elegant  in  tastes,  there  was 
no  higher  type  of  civilization  than  that  exemplified  by  the  residents 
of  Kent  County  in  the  colonial  days. 


Built  1765 

NO  finer  example  of  colonial  homes  of  Maryland  can  be  found  in 
the  State  than  that  of  Wilbur  W.  Hubbard,  banker,  fertilizer 
manufacturer,  and  financier.  Here  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hubbard  entertain 
in  true  Eastern  Shore  style,  and  their  many  friends,  including  artists 
and  architects  of  distinction,  claim  this  beautiful  residence  to  be  a  fine 
example  of  restoration  work  and  a  monument  to  the  intelligent  appre- 
ciation and  good  taste  of  Mr.  Hubbard  and  his  wife. 

From  the  time  the  house  was  built  to  the  present  day,  a  number 
of  distinguished  men  in  State  and  nation  have  dwelt  within  its 
historic  walls.  In  searching  the  title  chain  you  will  learn  of  Col. 
Thomas  Smythe,  the  first  merchant  in  Chestertown,  one  of  the 
Justices  of  the  Kent  County  Court  from  1757  to  1769,  a  member 
of  the  Provincial  Convention  in  1776,  and  of  the  Association  of 
Freemen  of  Maryland.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Council  of  Safety 
and  did  splendid  service  during  the  Revolutionary  War  in  providing 
munitions  for  the  troops  enlisted  in  Kent.  Col.  Smythe  died  at 
"Trumpington,"  having  lived  to  the  great  age  of  ninety-one 
years.    You   will  learn  of   the  distinguished  lawyer,  Thomas  Bed- 




tiest   rivers   of   the   Province  of 

ingfield  Hands;  of  the  two 
United  States  Senators  who 
lived  there  — Robert  Wright, 
Senator  from  1801  to  1806, 
when  he  resigned  his  seat  in 
the  Senate  to  become  Governor 
of  Maryland,  and  Ezekiel  F. 
Chambers,  Senator  from  1826 
to  1834,  and  afterward  Chief 
Judge  of  the  Second  Judicial 
District .  1 1  was  here  that  Judge 
Chambers  lived  for  forty- 
eight  years  and  entertained 
many  distinguished  men  of  his 

As  in  some  charming  old 
tome  we  have  the  story  of  the 
County  of  Kent,  as  well  as  that 
of  Chestertown,  woven  closely 
around  this  old  house.  The 
story  has  for  its  setting  a  quaint 
old  English  colony  town,  which 
was  laid  out  on  the  banks  of  the 
Chester  River,  one  of  the  pret- 
Maryland.    From  the   street    we 

approach  the  house  over  pavement  laid  140  years  ago  and  through 
which  the  violets  push  up  their  charming  flowers.  The  boxwood  hugs 
up  close  to  the  old  English  brick  of  which  the  house  is  built.  The  big 
brass  knocker  on  the  front  door;  the  wide  hall  with  its  keystoned 
arches  and  mahogany  stairway  spreading  its  leisurely  length  past 
the  grandfather's  clock;  the  hand-carving  on  walls  and  mantels; 
the  doors  with  dropped  silver  handles  and  broken  pediment  above, 
where  might  well  be  placed  the  bust  of  Pallas;  mahogany  furniture, 
spinet,  dulcimer,  and  low-boy  haunting  the  spots  where  Thomas 
Smythe  himself  might  have  placed  them.  These  are  the  evidences 
that  impress  you  with  the  colonial  atmosphere  of  this  old  home.  The 
accompanying  illustrations  give  not  only  the  river  view  of  the  mas- 


sive  porch,  with  Ionic  columns, 
but  also  the  approach  through 
the  iron  gates.  Truly,  Mr.  Hub- 
bard, with  his  widely  known 
business  ability,  has,  in  restor- 
ing this  old  mansion,  been  a 
more  beneficent  owner  than  any 
since  its  builder,  and  has  estab- 
lished one  of  the  most  delight- 
ful homes  of  the  Eastern  Shore. 

Mr.  Hubbard  is  descended 
from  Adley  Hubbard,  who  came 
to  Maryland  from  Essex 
County,  England,  in  1660.  He 
received  a  grant  of  a  large  tract  of  land  on  the  Sassafras  River  in 
what  is  now  known  as  Cecil  County.  He  called  his  grant  ' 'Hubbard's 
Delight,"  more  recently  known  as  ^''Ward's  Hill." 

Mrs.  Hubbard  is  descended  from  Col.  'William  Ross,  Col.  "William 
Evans  and  Major  Glenn,  Revolutionary  Officers.  She  is  the  daughter 
of  Judge  James  Evans  Ross,  whose  ancestors  belonged  to  Clan  Ross 
of  Scotland. 


Surveyed  1682 

CAMELL'S  WORTHMORE"  originally  contained  1,150  acres  of 
land  and  was  surveyed  in  1682.  It  is  now  the  property  of  the 
Rev.  Sewell  S.  Hepburn,  a  minister  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal 
Church,  who  was  rector  for  a  number  of  years  of  the  old  parish  of 
St.  Paul's,  Kent,  and  still  laboring  in  the  Master's  vineyard  as  rector 
of  Christ  Church,  L  U. 

Around  the  house  the  boxwood  hedge  is  laid  out  like  the  old 
English  gardens  and  the  beautiful  wainscoting  and  hand-carved  doors 
and  mantels  of  the  house  attest  the  elegant  taste  of  the  Angiers,  the 
builders  and  owners  in  Revolutionary  times.  John  Angier  bought 
this  property  from  James  Tilghman,  of  Philadelphia,  1767,  and  left 
it  to  his  son,  Thomas,  who  sold  it  to  his  brother,  Unit  Angier,  at 
whose  death  the  property  passed  into  the  hands  of  Thomas  Hepburn. 
Mary,  his  daughter,  dying  intestate,  the  estate  became  the  property 
of  the  present  owner. 

James  Tilghman  was  Chancellor  of  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania 
and  father  of  Col.  Tench  Tilghman,  Washington's  aide-de-camp.    In 



old  St.  Paul's  Churchyard  James  Tilghman  lies  buried  and  his  tomb 
is  plainly  marked,  giving  some  of  the  history  of  his  life. 

The  last  of  the  Anglers  who  owned  "Camell's  Worthmore"  lies 
buried  in  the  garden  back  of  the  old  colonial  home.  The  Angier, 
Brooks  and  Medford  families  were  large  landowners  and  with  few 
exceptions  were  members  of  the  parish  in  which  they  lived — Shrews- 

"Thornton,"  i,ooo  acres,  the  Brooks  property,  and  "Bucking- 
ham," another  large  grant,  1,300  acres,  were  among  grants  in  this 
neighborhood  that  date  back  to  the  very  earliest  in  the  Province. 
"Drayton,"  a  manor  of  1,200  acres,  granted  Charles  James  in  1677, 
and  long  the  home  of  the  Janvier  family,  was  not  far  distant  to  the 
west.  This  same  Charles  James  received  a  grant  for  100  acres  in  1687 
which  he  gave  to  the  vestry  of  Shrewsbury  Parish.  This  property 
was  called  "Mayford." 

'  'Denbigh, ' '  700  acres,  granted  in  1 67 1 ,  at  the  head  of  Churn  Creek, 
and  "The  Grange,"  qoo  acres,  granted  the  same  year  to  John  James, 
on  the  north  side  of  Still  Pond  Creek,  were  famous  colonial  homes  in 
their  day. 

In  1765  the  Assembly  passed  an  act  erecting  Chester  Parish  out 
of  St.  Paul's  and  Shrewsbury  Parishes,  authorizing  the  purchase  of 
two  acres  of  land  "at  or  near  the  cross  roads  at  the  place  called  I.  U. 
and  a  parish  church  to  be  built  on  the  land.  The  land  and  church  to 
cost  not  more  than  130,000  pounds  of  tobacco."  The  chapel  of  ease 
was  already  built  at  Chestertown.  The  first  vestrymen  were :  Aaron 
Alford,  Macall  Medford,  Joseph  Rasin,  Thomas  Perkins,  St.  Leger 
Everett  and  William  Ringgold. 



W     ^12 

Built  1708 

COMMANDING  a  splendid  view  of  the  upper  Chester  River  and 
the  surrounding  country,  this  rare  example  of  Dutch  architecture 
that  has  been  handed  down  to  the  present  generation  is  now  the  home 
of  Dr.  F.  N.  Sheppard  and  his  wife.  Mrs.  Sheppard  is  a  descendant 
of  Alethia,  daughter  of  the  William  Comegys  who  built  the  house 
and  who  was  the  second  son  of  Cornelius  Comegys,  the  emigrant. 
The  woodwork  and  the  wainscoting  are  very  pretty  and  the 
great  fireplaces  suggest  the  many  famous  dinners  served  there  to 
guests  in  the  long  ago.  It  is  a  charming  old  home  and  the  lawn, 
originally  terraced  and  hedged  with  boxwood,  extends  to  the  waters 
of  the  Chester  River.  At  the  time  the  house  was  built  there  was  a 
ferry,  ("Collister's  Ferry"),  across  the  Chester  River  at  this  point  and 
just  across  the  river  in  Queen  Anne's  County  William  Crump  took 
up  a  large  tract  of  land  he  called  "Crumpton."  It  was  for  this  prop- 
erty that  the  present  village  of  Crumpton  was  named. 

For  years  there  had  been  a  well-established  route  for  travel  from 



"Williamstadt,"  (now  Oxford),  Talbot  County,  to  Philadelphia  and  the 
Northern  settlements.  That  route  led  past  the  old  Wye  Church  in 
Talbot,  through  Queen  Anne's  to  Crumpton,  over  the  Chester  to  Kent, 
across  that  county  to  Georgetown  on  the  Sassafras,  over  the  Sassafras 
and  by  way  of  Bohemia  to  "Head  of  Elk,"  and  so  to  Philadelphia. 

Cornelius  Comegys,  the  emigrant,  petitioned  the  Maryland  Pro- 
vincial Assembly  in  1671  to  be  made  a  naturalized  citizen.  In  his 
petition  he  states  that  he  was  born  in  "Lexmont,  belonging  to  the 
states  of  Holland."  Millimety,  his  wife,  was  born  in  Barnevelt  ''under 
the  domain  of  the  said  states,"  and  Cornelius,  their  oldest  son,  was 
born  in  Virginia.  Their  other  children,  Elizabeth,  William  and 
Hannah,  were  born  in  Maryland.  Cornelius  Comegys  emigrated  to 
Virginia  about  1660  and  came  to  Maryland  about  1663,  receiving  his 
first  grant,  400  acres,  called  "Comegys Delight,"  in  that  year.  Several 
thousand  acres  were  later  acquired  by  him.  Some  of  the  tracts  bore 
the  following  names:  "The  Grove,"  "Vienna,"  "Adventure,"  "Fer- 
nando," "Sewall"  or  "Utreck,"  "Poplar  Plains,"  "Andover"  and 
"Comegys'  Choice."  He  was  made  a  member  of  the  Commissioners 
of  Justice  for  Kent  County  in  1676  and  was  evidently  a  man  of  large 

Close  family  ties  connected  the  descendants  of  Cornelius  Comegys 
with  the  Wallis  family,  also  with  the  Everett  and  Thomas  families. 
To  Nathaniel  Everett  was  granted  "Fair  Harbor,"  "Adventure"  and 
"New  Forest."  To  Samuel  Wallis,  "Partnership,"  "Conclusion"  and 
"Boothbie's  Fortune"  were  granted.  In  1659  William  Thomas  was 
granted  "Kedgerton,"  1,000  acres,  and  "Mt.  Hermon,"  8qo  acres. 
Jesse  Comegys,  an  officer  in  the  Revolutionary  War,  son  of  William 
and  Ann  Cosden  Comegys,  married  Mary  Everett.  They  had  three 
children,  Cornelius,  who  was  a  lieutenant  in  the  U.  S.  Army;  Maria, 
who  married  Augustine  Boyer;  and  Sarah  Everett  Comegys,  who 
married  John  Wallis.  Their  eldest  son,  Francis  Ludolph  Wallis,  was 
commissioned  August  6,  1846,  captain  of  the  Columbia  Hussars,  a 
company  of  cavalry  attached  to  the  Eighth  Regimental  Cavalry 
District,  Maryland  Militia.  Captain  Wallis  married  Emily  Thomas, 
daughter  of  William  Thomas,  of  '  'Mt .  Hermon. ' '  Their  only  daughter, 
Mrs. Elizabeth  Thomas  Wallis  Schutt,  of  Washington,  inherited  "Mt. 
Hermon"  and  still  owns  the  property, 


Built  1743 

ESPECIALLY  interesting  is  this  old  farm  to  those  fond  of  stories 
of  the  wars  with  Great  Britain,  for  here  in  the  moonlight  of  a 
hot  summer  night,  August  31,  18 14,  in  the  early  morning  hours  was 
fought  a  battle  that  was  singularly  important — the  Battle  of  Caulk's 
Field.  Capt.  Sir  Peter  Parker,  on  his  ship,  the  Menelaus,  was  sent 
up  the  bay  to  capture  if  possible  the  Kent  County  troops,  known  as 
the  Twenty-first  Regiment  of  Maryland  Militia,  then  under  the  com- 
mand of  Col.  Philip  Reed.  During  the  engagement  Captain  Parker 
received  a  mortal  wound  and  died  while  being  carried  on  the  shoulders 
of  his  men  back  to  his  ship.  Fourteen  of  the  British  soldiers  were 
killed  and  twenty-nine  wounded.  Only  three  of  Colonel  Reed's  men 
were  wounded,  and  those  not  seriously.  The  old  "Caulk's  Field"  house, 
now  owned  by  E.  J.  Watson,  was  built  in  1743,  and  on  the  east  gable 
the  date  is  traced  in  the  wall  with  the  brick. 


Built  171 3 

SURROUNDED  by  giant  oaks  and  sycamores,  by  boxwood  and 
fragrant  pines,  by  tombs  of  the  humble  and  the  rich,  St. 
Paul's  stands  today  a  real  monument  to  the  energy  and  religious 
zeal  of  those  Church  of  England  members  who  settled  in  Kent  in  the 
colonial  days  of  more  than  200  years  ago.  Rev.  Dr.  Ethan  Allen  in 
his  manuscript  covering  the  early  Church  in  Maryland  says:  "St. 
Paul's  Parish  was  organized  in  1692,  but  as  early  perhaps  as  1650 
there  was  a  church  called  St.  Peter's  at  Church  Creek,  [Kent],  near 
Gray's  Inn  Creek,  two  miles  from  Chester  River  near  the  town  of 
New  Yarmouth,  which  was  on  land  sold  by  Major  Thomas  Ringgold. 
A  burial  ground  is  there  and  graves  well  arched  over." 

The  building  of  St.  Paul's  Church  on  the  present  spot  in  1713  was 
to  replace  an  old  structure  which  had  stood  on  the  site  ever  since  the 



"Establishment."  Whether  any  church  had  existed  there  prior  to 
that  date  is  a  matter  yet  undetermined.  At  the  time  the  English 
Church  was  established  Thomas  Smythe,  of  "Trumpington;"  William 
Frisby,  of  "Hinchingham;"  Charles  Tilden,  of  "Great  Oak  Manor;" 
Michael  Miller,  of  "Arcadia;"  Hans  Hanson,  of  "Kimbolton,"  and 
Simon  Wilmer,  of  "Stepney,"  were  among  the  principal  freeholders  in 
the  parish  and  they  were  elected  as  vestrymen.  They  lived  many 
miles  from  St.  Paul's;  in  fact,  all  sections  of  this  old  parish  were 
represented  in  the  selection  of  these  gentlemen  as  vestrymen. 

St.  Paul's  was  one  of  the  thirty  parishes  that  were  laid  out  in  the 
Province  of  Maryland  in  accordance  with  the  Act  of  Assembly  of  1692. 
This  parish,  with  that  of  Shrewsbury,  covered  all  the  territory  now 
within  the  geographical  bounds  of  Kent  County.  The  dividing  line 
between  these  two  parishes  was  at  that  time  taken  as  the  boundary 
between  Cecil  County  and  Kent  County  and  to  determine  the  loca- 
tion of  this  line  an  Act  of  Assembly  was  passed  April  4,  1697,  authoriz- 
ing a  survey  to  be  made.  Capt.  Edward  Blay,  representing  Shrews- 
bury, and  Michael  Miller,  representing  St.  Paul's,  were  appointed  to 
be  present  at  the  running  of  the  line  between  the  parishes.  They  were 
to  report  to  the  Assembly  "with  a  fair  demonstration  of  the  division 
line  which  is  to  be  lined  out  by  a  line  of  marked  trees."  Simon  Will- 
more,  [Wilmer],  then  Surveyor  of  Kent  County,  was  to  do  the  survey- 
ing. They  determined  upon  a  line  running  from  what  is  now  known 
as  Goose  Hill  to  the  headwaters  of  Churn  Creek. 

There  is  an  old  building  called  the  "Vestry  House,"  which  has  the 
date  1 766  worked  in  the  bricks  of  the  gable,  that  stands  at  the  western 
entrance  of  the  cemetery.  The  land  on  which  this  old  building  stands 
was  bought  of  Thomas  Ringgold  and  the  deed  recites — "this  five  acres 
of  land  is  bought  for  the  benefit  of  air  and  shade  to  the  parishioners 
and  their  horses  round  the  church  in  attendance  on  divine  service 
and  for  the  building  of  a  vestry  house  thereon  and  any  other  parish 
use  whatever." 


Surveyed  1659 

HINCHINGHAM"  was  granted  in  1659  to  Thomas  Hynson  for 
2,200  acres,  lying  along  the  shore  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  and 
extending  north  from  Swan  Creek.  Thomas  Hynson  was  then  in  the 
3qth  year  of  his  age  and  so  well  liked  by  the  Governor  of  the  Prov- 
ince that  in  1 65  5  he  had  been  made  High  Sheriff  of  the  County  of  Kent. 
He  lived  on  Eastern  Neck  Island  and  with  his  friend,  Joseph  Wickes, 
had  received  grants  for  all  the  land  on  that  island.  In  all  Thomas 
Hynson  owned  3,600  acres  of  land  in  Kent  County.  It  was  at  his 
house  that  court  was  held  for  Kent  County,  February  i,  1655, 
the  following  Justices  being  present:  Philip  Connor,  Capt.  Joseph 
Wickes,  Thomas  Ringgold,  Capt.  John  Russell,  William  Elliott  and 
Henry  Carvil.  Thomas  Hynson's  son,  Thomas  Hynson,  Jr.,  was  made 
Sheriff  of  Talbot  County,  April  20,  1666.  With  the  granting  of  the 
Manor  of  ''Hinchingham"  to  Thomas  Hynson  he  became  interested 
in  that  section  of  the  county  and  it  is  supposed  made  it  his  home  for 
at  least  a  few  of  his  latter  years. 

Along  the  banks  of  Swan  Creek  quite  a  number  of  places  were 



granted  and  from  Eastern  Neck  Island  a  road  was  made  in  1675  to 
Swan  Creek  Road  by  Isaac  Winchester,  who  had  been  appointed  over- 
seer of  highways  for  the  Lower  Hundred.  The  road  was  ten  feet  wide 
and  made  "cleared  and  good  from  Joseph  Wickes'  house  to  Swan 
Creek  roade."  This  was  probably  the  first  road  built  in  the  county 
of  this  width  that  covered  so  many  miles.  It  led  north  from  Eastern 
Neck  Island  through  the  present  town  of  Rock  Hall  and  thence  across 
the  head  of  Swan  Creek. 

From  "Hinchingham"  was  sold  off  several  tracts  prior  to  1722 
and  one  of  these,  700  acres,  was  bought  by  William  Frisby,  a  member 
of  the  vestry  of  St.  Paul's  Parish.  William  Frisby  was  a  man  of 
great  prominence  in  the  Colony  and  to  him  the  Maryland  Assembly 
entrusted  the  mission  of  presenting  to  the  Lord  Bishop  of  London 
and  the  Commissioners  of  Trade  and  Plantations  at  London,  England, 
for  their  approval,  the  copy  of  the  Act  of  Assembly  establishing  the 
Church  of  England  by  law  in  the  Province  of  Maryland.  To  Nathaniel 
Hynson,  High  Sheriff  of  the  County  of  Kent,  in  17 18,  320  acres  were 
sold  by  Thomas  Tolley,  who  had  bought  it  from  Thomas  Hynson. 
This  property,  now  owned  by  Mrs.  Harriet  Westcott  Hill,  is  part  of 
"Hinchingham"  and  came  to  her  from  her  father,  the  late  George  B. 
Westcott,  of  Chestertown. 

In  the  neighborhood  of  "Hinchingham"  are  several  tracts  of  land 
the  names  of  which  are  still  familiar.  "Great  Oak  Manor,"  2,000 
acres,  surveyed  15th  of  August,  1658,  for  Josiah  Fendall;  "Arcadia," 
1,500  acres,  surveyed  i8th  of  May,  1680,  for  Michael  Miller;  "Buck 
Neck,"  550  acres,  surveyed  ist  of  August,  1666,  for  Joseph  Hopkins. 

"Broadnox,"  a  large  tract  of  land  on  Langford  Bay,  was  the  prop- 
erty of  Thomas  Broadnox,  a  man  of  considerable  importance  in  the 
earliest  days  of  Kent.  From  him  the  property  was  acquired  by  Rob- 
ert Dunn,  a  friend  and  adviser  of  the  Proprietary.  This  old  place, 
with  its  manor  house  built  about  1 708,  remained  in  the  Dunn  family 
until  long  after  the  Revolutionary  War.  Robert  Dunn  was  a  vestry- 
man of  St.  Paul's  Church. 


Surveyed  i68i 

Surveyed  i6qi 

PEARCE  LAMB  came  into  Kent  with  the  first  of  the  settlers;  in 
1683  he  obtained  a  grant  for  "Lamb's  Range,"  and  in  1694  another 
grant  for  a  tract  which  he  named  "Lamb's  Meadows."  These  two 
tracts  were  in  the  possession  of  Pearce  Lamb's  son,  Francis  Lamb, 
when  he  married  Rosamund  Beck  at  St.  Paul's  Church  in  Kent 
County,  April  6,  1714,  one  year  after  the  church  was  built. 

One  of  the  descendants  of  Francis  and  Rosamund  Lamb  is 
B.  Howard  Haman,  of  the  Baltimore  bar.  Mr.  Haman's  Kent  County 
residence  is  "Suffolk,"  surveyed  for  742  acres  in  1681  for  James 
Stavely.  It  is  situated  about  two  miles  from  Kennedy ville.  For  many 
years  it  was  the  home  of  Mr.  Haman's  grandfather,  the  late  Benja- 
min Howard,  a  descendant  of  Matthew  Howard,  of  Anne  Arundel 
County,  who  came  to  Kent  in  1725  and  lived  at  ''Howard's  Adven- 
ture." Matthew  Howard's  ancestor  came  to  Maryland  from  Virginia 
about  1660.  Mr.  Haman  has  for  years  been  the  foremost  advocate 
of  scientific  oyster  culture  in  Maryland  as  a  means  of  conserving 
and  vastly  increasing  the  yield  of  the  public  fisheries  and  supplement- 



ing  the  revenues  of  the  State.  He  was  the  author  of  the  law  under 
which  the  oyster  beds  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  and  its  tributaries  were 
first  surveyed  and  mapped  by  the  State  and  federal  governments. 
Mr.  Haman's  father  was  Dr.  James  Haman,  a  native  of  Delaware, 
and  a  graduate  of  the  Jefferson  Medical  College  in  Philadelphia.  Dr. 
Haman  was  associated  for  several  years  in  the  practice  of  medicine 
with  Dr.  William  S.  Maxwell,  of  Still  Pond,  Kent  County.  Dr. 
Haman's  paternal  grandfather  was  a  yeoman  farmer  in  the  East 
Riding  of  Yorkshire,  England,  who  emigrated  to  America  from  Hull 
about  i/Sq. 

This  part  of  Kent  County  has  several  large  grants  of  the  earliest 
dates,  among  them  being  "Stone  Town,"  granted  in  1658  to  Richard 
Stone  for  500  acres.  In  1722,  100  acres  of  this  property  belonged  to 
Philip  Rasin.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J.  Harry  Price  now  own  and  reside  at 

"Suffolk"  lies  in  Shrewsbury  Parish,  near  the  old  parish  church. 
In  the  old  churchyard  is  buried  Gen.  John  Cadwallader,  the  devoted 
personal  friend  of  George  Washington. 



Surveyed  1658 

AT  the  extreme  end  of  Kent  County  where  the  Chester  River  joins 
L  the  Chesapeake  Bay  stands  today  an  old  home  for  the  charms 
of  which  the  traveler  would  have  far  to  seek  to  find  the  equal.  Four 
hundred  acres  were  in  the  original  grant  to  Thomas  South  when  it 
was  surveyed  for  him  in  September,  1658. 

"Trumpington"  is  now  owned  by  Mrs.  Julia  Willson  Ringgold  and 
Natilie  O.  Willson,  her  brother,  they  having  inherited  the  place  at 
the  death  of  their  father,  Richard  Bennett  Willson.  His  mother  was 
Anna  Maria  Smythe,  daughter  of  Col.  Thomas  Smythe,  the  third  of 
his  line  as  owner  of  "Trumpington."  Thomas  Smythe,  the  first  in 
Kent,  was  a  member  of  the  vestry  of  St.  Paul's  Parish  and  gave  to 
that  parish,  1706,  a  beautiful  silver  chalice  and  patten  with  the 
initials  "T.  S."  engraved  on  them.  These  two  pieces  are  in  use  in 
that  church  today.  Thomas  Smythe  died  in  171Q  and  left  his  prop- 
erty, of  which  "Trumpington"  was  a  part,  to  his  son  and  daughter, 
Thomas  and  Martha.  He  also  owned  a  lot  in  the  old  town  of  ''New 
Yarmouth,"  part  of  "Hinchingham"  and  the  "Plaines." 


Surveyed  1658 

W'ICKCLIFFE"  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  properties  in 
Kent  and  is  now  owned  by  James  W.  Stevens,  a  native  of  Kent. 
In  1658  a  grant  was  issued  to  Joseph  Wickes  and  Thomas  Hynson 
jointly  for  800  acres  by  the  name  of  "Wickcliffe,"  described  as  "lying 
on  the  east  side  of  the  Eastern  Bay  called  Eastern  Neck."  Thomas 
Hynson's  heirs  surrendered  their  rights  in  the  property  in  later  years 
for  a  consideration  and  it  was  from  the  direct  heirs  of  Joseph  Wickes 
that  Mr.  Stevens  bought  the  estate,  it  having  been  in  the  Wickes 
family  for  about  240  years. 

From  the  very  earliest  records  of  the  Isle  of  Kent  down  to  the 
present  day,  with  numerous  representatives,  the  Wickeses  have 
held  a  prominent  place  in  the  affairs  of  Maryland.  It  is  generally 
supposed  that  Joseph  Wickes  was  of  Puritan  stock,  but  no  records 
are  at  hand  to  prove  this.  At  the  age  of  thirty-six,  in  1656,  he  was 
appointed  one  of  the  Justices  of  the  County  of  Kent.  Twenty  years 
after,  1676,  he  was  of  the  "quorum,"  John  Hynson  and  Cornelius 
Comegys  sitting  with  him  in  court. 



With  Thomas  Hynson,  Joseph  Wickes  was  granted  all  the  land 
that  comprised  Eastern  Neck  Island — "Wickcliffe,"  800  acres,  "The 
Market  Place"  and  "Partnership,"  in  all,  according  to  a  resurvey  in 
1674,  1,740  acres. 

The  geographical  location  of  "Wickcliffe"  is  ideal,  lying  at  the 
extreme  end  of  Eastern  Neck  Island,  its  shores  washed  by  the  Chester 
River.  From  the  broad  veranda  miles  and  miles  of  the  Chesapeake 
Bay  and  Chester  River  afford  a  picture  rarely  equaled  in  Maryland. 

Here  in  the  good  old  Colony  days  the  swan,  wild  goose  and  canvas- 
back  duck  tempted  the  visitor  at  the  hospitable  table  of  the  Wickeses. 
No  less  frequently  upon  this  table  were  to  be  found  the  diamond-back 
terrapin,  the  oyster  and  soft  crab,  cooked  and  flavored  by  old 
"mammy,"  whose  excellence  in  the  art  had  been  reached  by  constant 
practice  in  endeavoring  to  tempt  the  appetites  of  the  "marster"  and 

As  vessels  came  into  the  Chester  River  from  England  or  France 
or  Guinea,  they  passed  close  to  this  old  house  and  the  messages 
brought  over  from  the  mother  country  made  the  sails  of  the  ships  a 
doubly  welcome  sight.  On  a  point  of  land  lying  well  within  the  mouth 
of  the  Chester  River  and  projecting  from  the  shores  of  "Wickcliffe" 
is  a  clump  of  virgin  pine  trees  which  can  be  seen  for  miles.  This  point 
is  known  as  Hail  Point,  so  called  from  the  fact  that  Lord  Baltimore's 
naval  officer  in  those  early  days  had  all  vessels  stop  here  before  going 
up  the  river.  This  was  done  for  inspection,  both  for  customs  and  for 




TALBOT  COUNTY,  named  for  Grace  Talbot,  a  sister  of  Cecilius 
Calvert  and  wife  of  Sir  Robert  Talbot,  was  erected  about  1662, 
though  the  authority  for  creating  the  county  has  never  been  found. 
It  embraced  all  of  the  territory  south  and  east  of  the  Chester  River, 
the  Kent  Narrows,  Eastern  Bay  and  Chesapeake  Bay  and  north  of 
the  Choptank  River.  These  boundaries  were  confirmed  by  the  lines 
followed  in  laying  out  the  parishes  of  the  county  in  accordance  with 
an  Act  of  the  Assembly  of  1692,  and  not  until  1706  did  they  change, 
save,  in  1695,  when  Kent  Island  was  taken  into  Talbot  County.  It 
will  be  interesting  to  the  reader  to  quote  in  part  the  Act  of  1706, 
Chapter  3,  which  gave  to  the  county  its  present  lines: 

That  the  bounds  of  Talbot  County  shall  contain  Sharp's  Island, 
Choptank  Island  and  all  the  land  on  the  north  side  of  the  Great 
Choptank  River,  and  extend  itself  up  the  said  river  to  Tuckahoe 
Bridge,  and  from  thence  with  a  straight  line  to  the  mill  commonly 
called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Swetnam's  Mill,  and  thence  down 
the  south  side  of  Wye  River  to  the  mouth  thereof,  and  from  thence 
down  the  bay  (including  Poplar  Island)  to  the  first  beginning,  also 
Bruff's  Island  in  Wye  River. 

Whether  by  proclamation  or  by  Act  of  Assembly  this  county  was 
erected  it  is  not  now  known,  but  on  February  18,  1662,  Moses  Stag- 
well  was  made  Sheriff  of  the  county  and  the  machinery  of  the  county 
government  began  to  be  assembled  around  this  chief  officer.  In  pur- 
suance of  the  usual  form  issued  to  the  Sheriff  he  called  together  all 
the  freemen  of  the  county  to  elect  deputies  to  the  General  Assembly. 
They  then  elected  four  delegates  of  their  peers.  The  Governor 
appointed  the  new  commissioners  of  justice  and  their  appointment 
was  confirmed  by  the  Assembly.  They  were  Lieut.  Richard  Woolman, 
James  Ringgold,  William  Coursey,  Thomas  South,  Seth  Forster  and 



Thomas  Hynson,  Junior.  Four  were  of  the  "quorum,"  any  one  of 
whom  with  two  of  the  other  Justices  held  court  for  the  trial  of  those 
cases  that  were  not  properly  heard  by  the  Council  sitting  at  St.  Mary's 
City,  which  at  that  time  constituted  the  highest  court  of  the  Province. 

In  order  to  further  provide  for  the  machinery  of  a  county,  Talbot 
was  divided  into  nine  "hundreds"  as  follows:  Tred  Haven,  BoUing- 
brooke.  Mill,  Tuckahoe,  Worrell,  Bay,  Island,  Chester  and  Lower 
Hundred  of  Kent  Island.  The  localities  now  known  as  Miles  River 
Neck  and  Wye  Island  were  "Island  Hundred,"  and  "Bay  Hundred" 
is  to  this  day  a  voting  district  of  this  old  county. 

To  the  student  of  the  history  of  the  Province  this  particular 
county  seems  to  draw  around  its  delightful  colonial  period  the  charm 
of  an  enchanted  land.  Beautiful  rivers  washed  its  shores.  The  wealth 
of  foliage,  the  deep  green  of  the  fields  and  the  sparkling  blue  of  the 
waters  gave  a  charming  background  to  the  inbound  ship  as  she  came 
up  stream  in  the  bright  sunshine  with  every  sheet  drawing,  her  sails 
filled  with  the  strong  breeze  of  the  Chesapeake.  We  can,  in  the  mind's 
eye,  picture  the  visitors  disembarking  over  the  side  of  the  ship  while 
those  on  shore  wave  to  them  a  welcome  made  genuine  by  the  long 
years  of  separation  from  friends  and  relations.  It  is  to  such  pictures 
of  delightful  surroundings  that  Talbot  owes  the  recent  migration  to 
her  shores  of  the  many  wealthy  and  cultured  people  who  in  these 
modern  times  of  "hurry  and  drive"  have  bought  there  old  manors 
and  there,  in  addition  to  the  natural  delights,  find  for  neighbors  a 
country  folk  who  have  descended  from  the  gentry  of  the  colonial  days. 

Talbot,  like  her  sister  county,  Dorchester,  has  lost  much  of  her 
island  area  by  subsidence  and  by  the  encroachment  of  the  waters  of 
the  bay.  Poplar  Island  and  Sharp's  Island  are  nearly  covered  by 
water  and  much  of  the  land  of  Tilghman's  Island  has  disappeared 
into  the  waters  of  the  Chesapeake.  So,  today,  where  fields  of  grain 
and  orchards  of  fruit-bearing  trees  once  pleased  the  eye  of  the  farmers, 
are  miles  of  shallow  water  or  marshes  in  which  the  muskrat  builds 
his  "house"  and  the  redwing  swings  in  the  balmy  breeze  perched  upon 
the  tall  cat-tails  that  grow  luxuriantly  there.  The  submerging  of  these 
lands  has  been  going  on  very  slowly  for  years  and  the  loss  to  the 
county  in  area  has  been  very  considerable.  The  farm  lands  are  rich 
and  produce  fine  crops  of  wheat,  corn,  potatoes  and  hay.   The  raising 



of  blooded  horses,  cattle  and  sheep  has  its  important  place  in  the 
agricultural  life  of  the  county  and  it  is  a  pleasing  sight  to  see  the  green 
fields  dotted  with  flocks  of  thoroughbred  cattle  and  sheep. 

In  1679  provision  was  made  for  a  permanent  court  house  for 
Talbot.  The  following  record  of  that  year  is  of  interest :  "The  Com- 
missioners have  ordered  Elizabeth  Winkles  to  have  the  court  house 
which  is  now  used  to  keep  court  in,  with  the  room  adjoining  until 
the  latter  end  of  November  next,  in  consideration  we,  the  Commis- 
sioners are  to  allow  her  as  we  think  fit."  Continuing,  the  record 
further  states:  "The  Court  hath  ordered  Major  William  Coursey  to 
treat  with  Richard  Swetnam  to  come  to  the  aforesaid  house  to  keep 
ordinary,  [tavern],  as  also  to  treat  concerning  the  building  of  a  court 
house."  Major  Coursey  must  have  succeeded  in  his  mission,  for  we 
find  in  1680  that  a  court  house  was  built  upon  land  purchased  of 
Jonathan  Hopkinson  which  was  located  on  Skipton  Creek,  near  the 
headwaters  of  the  Wye  River.  In  this  building  court  was  held  for  the 
first  time  in  1682  or  1683.  Later  a  "prison"  was  built.  Around  these 
two  buildings  there  grew  up  quite  a  village  which  was  called  by  Act 
of  the  Assembly  of  1686  "Yorke,"  evidently  in  honor  of  the  ancient 
town  in  England  of  the  same  name. 

Oxford  was  laid  out  in  accordance  with  the  "Act  for  the  erection 
of  necessary  towns"  in  1684,  and  in  1707  the  county-seat  was  moved 
to  that  thriving  town.  The  last  session  of  the  court  at ' 'Yorke"  was 
on  the  1 7th  day  of  June,  1 707,  and  the  first  session  at  Oxford  was  held 
on  the  iqth  of  August  following.  Oxford  became  a  port  of  entry  and 
to  its  harbor  vessels  came  from  England,  Guinea,  Barbadoes  and  the 
ports  along  the  Atlantic  Coast.  In  1726  Samuel  Chamberlaine  be- 
came the  royal  Naval  Officer  and  he  was  succeeded  at  his  death  by 
his  son,  Thomas,  and  he  by  his  brother,  Samuel.  With  the  removal 
of  the  county  court  to  Oxford ,  the  days  of ' '  Yorke' '  were  numbered .  I n 
1 7 10  we  find  the  court  again  ready  to  move  to  a  more  favorable  loca- 
tion and  there  was  talk  of  moving  to  ''Pitt's  Bridge."  This  bridge 
spanned  a  small  body  of  water  which  was  a  branch  of  Third  Haven, 
[Tred  Avon],  River.  Of  recent  years  this  bridge  has  been  known  as 
the  Tanyard  Bridge,  so  called  for  a  tannery  once  located  there. 
"Pitt's  Bridge"  was  on  part  of  a  tract  of  land  granted  to  John  Pitt, 
called  "Pitt's  Chance."    The  following  interesting  record  in  the  rent 



rolls  of  Lord  Baltimore,  (1724),  shows  that  "Pitt's  Chance"  con- 
tained 400  acres  of  land  and  the  yearly  rent  was  eight  shillings: 

400/0/8/0  Pitt's  Chance,  surveyed  24th  January,  1665,  for  John 
Pitt  at  the  head  of  the  Northwest  branch  of  Tread  Avon  Creek, 
adjoining  the  land  called  Westmoreland,  Possest  by  Mr.  John 
Needles  for  Ann  Darby  in  England,  a  daughter  of  Mr.  Edward 

The  Assembly  authorized  on  the  4th  day  of  November,  17 10,  the 
building  of  a  "court  house  for  Talbot  County  at  Armstrong's  Old 
Field  near  Pitt  His  Bridge."  This  tract  belonged  to  Philemon  Arm- 
strong and  comprised  about  two  acres.  How  soon  after  the  passage 
of  the  act  before  the  building  was  erected  is  not  known,  but  the  first 
session  of  court  in  the  new  building  near  Pitt's  Bridge  was  held  on  the 
1 7th  of  June,  1 7 1 2.  Here,  as  at ' '  Yorke, ' '  a  village  soon  sprang  up  and 
became  known  as  "Talbot  Court  House."  The  name  applied  to  both 
the  building  and  the  village,  that  being  the  custom  in  those  days. 
That  was  the  last  move  of  the  court.  The  village  continued  to  be 
called  "Talbot  Court  House"  until  1 788,  at  which  time  it  was  changed 
to  Easton,  and  is  still  the  county-seat  of  Talbot  County.  Easton  is 
now  a  flourishing  town  of  4,000  inhabitants  and  has  the  largest  bank 
deposits  of  any  town  on  the  Eastern  Shore.  Here  is  located  the 
Cathedral  of  the  Diocese  of  Easton  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal 
Church.  It  is  in  the  old  parish  of  St.  Peter's  which  had  for  its  parish 
church  for  many  years  Whitemarsh  Church,  long  since  abandoned,  the 
ruins  of  which  form  one  of  the  old  colonial  landmarks  of  Talbot. 

Here,  too,  is  the  Friends  Meeting  House,  built  in  1684  on  what  is 
now  the  outskirts  of  Easton.  It  is  said  to  be  the  oldest  building  for 
public  worship  of  wooden  construction  in  the  United  States.  If  some 
magic  power  could  give  the  old  structure  the  gift  of  speech,  what 
wonderful  tales  it  could  tell  of  Wenlock  Christison,  George  Fox  and 
William  Penn,  all  of  whom  are  said  to  have  worshipped  beneath  its 
roof.  It  is  also  stated  that  Charles  Calvert,  third  Lord  Baltimore, 
and  Lady  Calvert  attended  meeting  there  on  one  occasion.  During 
the  early  years  of  Talbot  County  the  Friends  had  no  meeting  house, 
but  conducted  their  meetings  at  the  homes  of  members.  A  very  large 
part  of  the  population  of  Talbot  County  in  1681  consisted  of  Quakers, 
and  William  Penn,  realizing  what  a  stronghold  these  members  of  his 



faith  would  make,  established  the  Tred  Avon  Monthly  Meeting  as  a 
branch  of  the  Philadelphia  Yearly  Meeting.  A  record  in  the  Minutes 
of  Tred  Avon  Monthly  Meeting  shows  that  in  1681  it  was  decided  to 
build  a  new  meeting  house  upon  Third  Haven  Creek. 

The  building  was  begun  in  1682  and  the  first  assembling  of  Quakers 
in  the  new  meeting  house  was  on  the  24th  day  of  October,  1684.  It  is 
this  building  that  is  spoken  of  above  as  standing  today.  The  records 
of  the  Quakers  are  complete  in  detail  and  furnish  one  of  the  sources 
of  the  most  accurate  colonial  data  to  be  found  in  Maryland.  The 
records  of  Tred  Avon  Meeting  are  now  in  the  Library  of  the  Mary- 
land Historical  Society. 

Talbot  furnished  her  quota  of  volunteers  during  the  Revolution 
and  one  of  her  sons.  Col.  Tench  Tilghman,  as  aide-de-camp  to  Gen. 
George  Washington,  is  proudly  referred  to  as  one  of  the  greatest 
soldiers  ever  sent  from  the  Eastern  Shore.  His  famous  ride  from 
Yorktown  to  Philadelphia,  carrying  to  Congress  the  news  of  the  sur- 
render of  Cornwallis,  is  an  ever-pleasing  story  and  has  been  told  in 
verse  by  one  of  Maryland's  clergymen. 

In  the  war  with  Great  Britain,  181 2-14,  a  battle  was  fought  at 
St.  Michaels  in  which  the  British  were  defeated. 

Talbot  has  furnished  four  Governors  of  the  State,  Edward  Lloyd, 
the  fifth  of  that  name  in  Maryland,  June  q,  1 8oq-November  16,  181 1 ; 
Samuel  Stevens,  December  q,  1822-January  9,  1826;  Daniel  Martin, 
and  Philip  Francis  Thomas,  January  3,  1848-January  6,  1851. 



Built  about  1781  , 

SITUATED  on  the  banks  of  the  south  prong  of  Wye  River  and 
Lloyd's  Creek  is  one  of  the  most  noted  and  historical  estates  on 
the  Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland,  "Wye  House,"  the  home  of  the  Lloyd 
family  for  eight  generations.  Edward  Lloyd  I  came  to  the  Colony  of 
Virginia  from  Wales  in  1623,  and  was  a  burgess  in  the  Virginia 
Assembly  until  164c),  when  he  came  to  Maryland.  Mr.  Lloyd  was 
a  member  of  the  General  Assembly  of  Maryland  which  met  at 
Preston-on-the-Patuxent  between  1650  and  1658.  On  the  20th  of 
April,  1650,  the  district  embracing  Providence  was  erected  into  a 
county  and  given  the  name  of  Anne  Arundel.  Edward  Lloyd  was 
made  "commander"  of  this  county  by  Governor  Stone.  On  the  organi- 
zation of  Talbot  County  in  1661,  having  large  landed  estates  there, 
he  removed  to  that  county  and  built  his  residence  on  Wye  River, 
calling  it  "Wye  House." 

The  original  "Wye  House"  was  burned  by  British  marauders  on 
the  night  of  March  13,  1 78 1 ,  and  was  robbed  of  many  of  its  treasures, 

[  ^Q  1 


both  paintings  and  plate.  All  the  records  of  the  Lloyd  family  up  to 
that  time  perished  in  the  flames.  Later,  after  the  war  was  over, 
several  pieces  of  plate  bearing  the  arms  of  the  family  were  returned 
by  the  Crown.  Of  the  original  manor  house  only  a  fragment  remains 
and  is  used  as  an  outbuilding.  A  record  states  that  the  present  "Wye 
House"  was  rebuilt  by  Edward  Lloyd  IV  at  once  after  the  original 
house  was  destroyed  by  the  British.  This  colonial  structure,  erected 
135  years  ago,  remains  intact  and  appears  to  be  as  solid  now  as  when 
first  erected. 

The  main  building  of  two  lofty  stories,  including  the  hall,  drawing- 
room,  parlor,  dining-room  and  chambers,  all  of  noble  proportions,  is 
connected  by  corridors  with  one-story  wings  in  which  are  the  library 
on  one  side  and  the  domestic  offices  on  the  other,  presenting  a  pleasing 
fagade  of  200  feet,  crowning  an  eminence  which  commands  a  view  of 
the  lawn  and  leafy  avenue  and  over  the  woods  to  Wye  River  and  the 
bay.  Back  of  the  manor  house  is  an  old  garden  with  many  beautiful 
winding  walks  bounded  by  boxwood  hedges,  a  stroll  through  which 
would  convince  one  that  landscape  gardening  has  long  been  a  study 
of  art,  and  there  was  much  time  and  money  spent  in  making  these 
features  of  the  old  homestead  most  attractive.  To  one  side  of  the 
garden  is  a  beautiful  stretch  of  green  sward,  bounded  on  each  side  by 
hedges,  at  the  end  of  which  is  an  imposing  building— the  old  orangery. 
To  the  left  of  this  structure  is  an  arch  of  brick,  flanked  on  each  side 
by  a  wall  fast  crumbling  away.  This  arch  marks  the  entrance  to  the 
burying  ground  at  Wye  and  on  each  side  stand  two  gigantic  trees 
like  two  sentinels  guarding  those  who  are  slumbering  in  peace  in  the 
graveyard,  which  contains  the  remains  of  many  generations  of  Lloyds. 

There  seems  to  be  some  uncertainty  as  to  the  area  of  the  original 
grant,  but  the  present  owner  of  "Wye  House,"  Charles  Howard 
Lloyd,  inherited  from  his  father  over  5,000  acres.  Another  record 
referring  to  the  landed  estates  of  Edward  Lloyd  I  in  Talbot  County 
speaks  of  the  celebrated  tract  called  "Hir-Dir-Lloyd,"  containing 
3,050  acres,  now  known  as  Oxford  Neck,  the  patent  for  which  bears 
the  date  of  January  10,  1659. 


Surveyed  165  i 

OF  all  the  colonial  manors  of  Maryland  few  maintained  a  position 
of  greater  prominence  and  importance  during  the  days  of  the 
Colony  than  "The  Rich  Neck."  This  tract  of  land  is  a  peninsula 
lying  between  the  eastern  branch  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  and  St. 
Michael's  River  with  Tilghman's  Creek  making  in  from  St.  Michael's 
River  on  the  south,  and  furnishes  one  of  the  finest  land-locked  harbors 
on  the  bay.  From  the  character  of  the  soil  of  this  peninsula  it  well 
deserves  its  name,  as  there  are  few  tracts  in  this  State  which  today 
can  boast  of  soil  more  fertile. 

Across  St.  Michael's  River  to  the  east  and  at  the  mouth  of  the  Wye 
River  was  "Doncaster,"  the  earliest  county-seat  of  Talbot.  In  full  view 
from  "The  Rich  Neck"  to  the  west  across  Eastern  Bay  is  the  site  of 
the  first  seat  of  government  for  the  Isle  of  Kent,  and  still  farther 
beyond  that,  across  the  Chesapeake,  is  Annapolis,  which  became  the 
capital  of  the  Colony  in  1692.  This  tract  was  surveyed  for  Capt. 
William  Mitchell,  October  20,  1651,  by  Robert  Clark,  then  Surveyor- 



General  of  the  Province,  and  contained  i,ooo  acres.  Captain 
Mitchell  sold  the  tract  to  Phillip  Land,  the  High  Sheriff  of  St.  Mary's 
County.  In  1684  Mr.  Land  sold  it  to  Capt.  James  Murphy,  the 
consideration  being  104  pounds  sterling,  "lawful  money  of  England,  " 
23,000  pounds  of  good  tobacco  and  two  tracts  on  Sassafras  Creek — 
one  tract  of  i  ,000  acres  and  the  other  of  500  acres,  both  lying  in 
Cecil  County.  James  Murphy  occupied  this  land  from  1684  to  i6q8, 
and  during  the  entire  time  was  a  Justice  of  Talbot  County.  At  the 
time  of  his  death  he  was  president  of  the  "quorum."  He  married  a 
daughter  of  Capt.  Ralph  Dawson,  Mabel,  who  was  reputed  to  be  the. 
beauty  of  the  Colony.  By  his  will  he  bequeathed  his  property  to  his 
widow.  She  married  Matthew  Tilghman  Ward  and  died  in  1702. 
leaving  one  child,  a  daughter,  Mary  Ward,  who  died  at  the  age  of 
twenty-two  years. 

Matthew  Tilghman  Ward,  for  his  second  wife,  married  Margaret 
Lloyd,  a  daughter  of  Col.  Philemon  Lloyd.  He  became  one  of  the 
Justices  of  Talbot.  Upon  the  death  of  James  Murphy  he  was  made 
Speaker  of  the  Assembly,  which  position  he  occupied  for  one  or  two 
terms  and  was  then  appointed  member  of  the  Council.  At  the  time 
of  his  death,  in  1 741 ,  he  was  President  of  the  Council,  and  Lieutenant- 
General  of  the  militia  of  the  Colony,  the  two  positions  ranking  next 
to  that  of  Governor. 

Matthew  Tilghman  Ward  left  no  descendants  and  by  his  will 
bequeathed  "The  Rich  Neck,"  after  the  death  of  his  widow,  to 
Matthew  Tilghman,  a  cousin,  who  occupied  the  property  until  his 
death  in  1790.  Matthew  Tilghman,  like  his  predecessors,  had  been 
a  Justice  of  the  Court,  Speaker  of  the  Assembly,  a  Delegate  to  the 
Continental  Congress  at  Philadelphia,  and  was  undoubtedly  pre- 
vented by  sickness  from  signing  the  Declaration  of  Independence. 
He  was  president  of  the  First  Constitutional  Convention  of  the  State 
and  a  member  of  the  Committee  of  Safety  during  the  Revolutionary 

In  iqo6  this  manor  was  purchased  by  the  late  Henry  H.  Pearson, 
Jr.,  from  Joseph  B.  Seth,  the  then  owner.  Mr.  Pearson  restored  and 
beautified  it  until  it  is  one  of  the  show  places  of  the  State. 



LESS  than  a  mile  north  of  St.  Michael's,  fronting  on  St.  Michael's, 
-/  (Miles),  River,  is  "Perry  Cabin,"  the  home  for  many  years  of  the 
bachelor  brothers,  Samuel  and  John  Needles  Hambleton,  both  of 
whom  were  pursers  in  the  United  States  Navy,  and  where  they 
lived,  when  not  on  duty,  with  their  two  maiden  sisters,  the  Misses 
Lydia  and  Louisa  Hambleton.  Samuel  Hambleton,  (i 777-1 851),  was 
appointed  in  1806  a  purser  in  the  United  States  Navy  by  President 
Thomas  Jefferson. 

During  the  War  of  181 2,  at  the  battle  of  Lake  Erie,  when  the  flag- 
ship of  Commodore  Oliver  Hazard  Perry,  the  "Lawrence,"  was  dis- 
abled by  the  sickness  of  the  crew,  he  volunteered  to  work  a  gun  and 
while  thus  aiding  in  achieving  the  victory  was  severely  wounded  by 
a  cannon  ball  which  fell  upon  him  from  the  rigging.  This  estate,  now 
the  home  of  C.  H.  Fogg,  is  only  a  short  distance  from  "Martingham," 
the  earliest  seat,  (1659),  of  the  Hambletons.  Samuel  Hambleton  was 
born  at  "Martingham,"  and  the  estate  is  still  owned  by  a  member  of 
the  family.  Here  also  lived  John  Needles  Hambleton,  (1798-1870), 
who  faithfully  served  his  country  for  fifty  years  as  purser  in  the  United 
States  Navy. 



Little  more  than  a  mile  south  of  St.  Michael's,  and  about  two 
miles  from  "Perry  Cabin,"  beautifully  situated  on  Spencer  Creek, 
where  it  empties  into  St.  Michael's  River,  is  "Spencer  Hall,"  the  seat, 
for  several  generations,  of  the  Spencers,  some  of  whom  gained  dis- 
tinction in  the  various  walks  of  life,  but  none  of  the  name  now  reside 
in  Talbot  County.  The  family  was  of  Norman  origin  and  of  noble 
degree,  and  can  be  easily  traced  to  the  eleventh  century,  being 
descended  from  Robert  le  Despencer,  Lord  Stewart  of  the  household 
of  William  the  Conqueror,  and  one  of  the  Norman  barons  whose 
name  is  in  the  Roll  of  Battle  Abbey,  and  in  the  great  Domesday  Book 
appears  as  Robertus  Dispensator. 

In  1657  there  came  to  Northumberland  County,  Virginia,  Nicholas 
and  Robert  Spencer,  brothers,  of  Cople,  Bedfordshire,  descended  in 
the  seventh  generation  from  Robert  Spencer,  a.d.  1475,  younger  sons 
of  Nicholas  Spencer  and  his  wife,  Mary  Gostwick,  daughter  of  Sir 
Edward  Gostwick,  and  a  branch  of  the  Northamptonshire  family. 
They  were  accompanied  by  the  brothers  John  and  Lawrence  Wash- 
ington, also  from  Bedfordshire,  the  former  being  the  great-grand- 
father of  Gen.  George  Washington. 

Nicholas  Spencer,  by  grants  and  purchases,  came  into  possession 
of  large  tracts  of  land  on  the  Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland,  1658  to 
1 66 1.  He  finally  settled  in  Virginia  near  the  Washingtons.  He  was 
later  known  as  Col.  Nicholas  Spencer,  and  was  Secretary  of  Virginia, 
1679-88.  Robert  Spencer  was  born  in  1635.  After  removing  from 
Virginia  to  Barbadoes,  where  he  remained  for  several  years,  he  came 
to  Maryland  in  1678  and  settled  in  Talbot  County  in  1683.  He  died 
prior  to  April,  1688.  He  left  an  only  son,  James  Spencer,  born  in 
Barbadoes  in  1667,  who  came  to  Talbot  after  his  father's  death  and 
settled  on  St.  Michael's  River.  He  died  in  17 14,' leaving  by  his  first 
wife,  Isabella,  four  sons,  James  Spencer,  Jr.,  the  founder  of  "Spencer 
Hall,"  Charles,  William  and  Hugh  Spencer,  and  two  daughters,  Alice 
and  Mary  Spencer.  The  last  male  owner  of  "Spencer  Hall"  was  Col. 
Perry  Spencer,  (1750- 1822),  and  the  property  finally  passed  out  of 
the  hands  of  the  Spencers  in  1837.  The  Spencers  were  never 
numerous  in  Talbot,  and  but  one  of  that  family  is  now  living  in 
Maryland,  Col.  Richard  H.  Spencer,  of  Baltimore. 


First  built  1732 

THE  fact  that  the  Miles  River  is  one  of  the  most  picturesque  of 
Talbot's  waterways  was  recognized  by  the  early  settlers.  For  this 
reason  many  of  them  chose  to  select  sites  on  its  banks.  This  river, 
after  flowing  about  fifteen  miles  in  a  southwesterly  direction,  makes  a 
distinct  turn  and  flows  northerly.  The  Miles  River  has  this  feature 
in  common  with  the  Chester  and  Choptank,  which  rivers  empty  into 
Chesapeake  Bay. 

According  to  records  a  British  fleet  sailed  up  the  Miles  River  in 
181 3  and  under  cover  of  darkness  attacked  the  town  of  St.  Michaels. 
The  inhabitants,  anticipating  the  attack,  placed  lights  in  the  upper 
stories  and  on  the  roofs  of  their  homes;  consequently,  most  of  the 
enemy's  shells  passed  over  the  village.  One  shell,  however,  found  a 
lodging  place  in  a  tall  chimney,  where  it  remains  to  this  day. 

On  the  upper  Miles  River  are  many  beautiful  homes,  but  there 
are  few  on  the  Eastern  Shore  more  attractive  and  home-like  than 
"The  Anchorage,"  the  summer  home  of  Milton  Campbell,  a  native 
of  Talbot  County  now  residing  in  Philadelphia.    The  earliest  record 



shows  the  erection  of  "The  Anchorage'  was  in  1732,  by  Rev.  John 
Gordon,  a  Scotch  Episcopal  minister  who  was  at  that  time  in  charge 
of  the  Miles  River  Parish. 

The  church  stood  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  Miles  River  road, 
nearly  in  the  center  of  a  field.  The  parsonage  is  now  the  central  part 
of  "The  Anchorage"  building,  and  was  erected  in  1732,  either  by  or 
for  the  Rev.  John  Gordon.  Just  how  long  this  reverend  gentleman 
resided  there  is  not  known,  but  there  is  a  tradition  current  that  he 
always  had  an  excellent  congregation  on  Sundays,  the  secret  of  which 
may  be  attributed  to  the  fact  that  a  race-track  had  been  constructed 
in  the  rear  of  the  church  and  after  service  the  congregation  adjourned 
to  the  track  for  amusement.  This  bears  out  early  records  that  the  min- 
isters sent  over  to  the  colonies  were  rather  of  a  sporting  class. 

Governor  Edward  Lloyd  bought  "The  Anchorage"  before 
his  daughter.  Miss  Sarah  Scott  Lloyd,  married  Commodore  Charles 
Llowndes,  U.S.N. ,  and  after  adding  the  wings  and  portico  presented 
it  to  his  daughter  at  her  wedding.  Later  "The  Anchorage"  passed 
into  the  hands  of  Gen.  Charles  A.  Chipley,  who  occupied  the  prop- 
erty for  about  fifteen  years.  Mr.  Campbell  purchased  the  property 
from  the  Chipley  heirs  nine  years  ago  and  since  that  time  has  added 
very  much  to  the  beauty  of  the  place.  The  attractive  features  of  this 
homestead  are  its  simplicity,  large  trees  and  rolling  lawn  extending 

to  the  river,  and  the  cordial  and  hospitable 
hosts,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Campbell. 

Just  opposite  "The  Anchorage,"  on  the 
south  bank  of  the  Miles  River,  is  "The 
Rest,"  once  the  home  of  Admiral  Franklin 
Buchanan,  of  Confederate  fame,  commander 
of  the  "Virginia"  in  the  first  test  of  naval 
ironclads.  This  home  is  now  owned  by 
C.  E.  Henderson.  Just  above  the  long  bridge 
which  spans  the  Miles  River  is  "Myrtle 
Grove,"  the  home  of  Charles  Goldsborough 
and  one  of  the  old  places  of  Talbot  County. 
The  interior  of  this  homestead  is  colonial 
and  the  accompanying  picture  shows  the 
hall  and  stairway. 


Surveyed  1663 

ONE  year  after  Talbot  became  a  county  of  the  Province  of  Mary- 
land, Ralph  Elston  came  from  England  and  obtained  a  grant 
to  this  beautiful  tract  of  land,  which  lies  at  the  southernmost  end  of 
Broad  Creek  Neck,  between  Harris  Creek  on  the  west  and  Broad 
Creek  on  the  east.  The  following  year,  1664,  he  acquired  the  adjoin- 
ing tract,  known  as  "Long  Neck."  "Long  Point"  received  its  name 
from  the  point  of  land  which  was  formerly  known  as  Elston  Point, 
now  erroneously  called  Nelson's  Point. 

Ralph  Elston  married,  in  i6q4,  Mary  Ball,  the  widow  of  John 
Ball,  the  emigrant.  Her  son,  Benjamin  Ball,  came  into  possession  of 
"Long  Point,"  "Long  Neck"  and  "Benjamin's  Lot,"  and  prior  to 
1720  conveyed  all  of  his  lands,  including  the  above  places,  to  his 
brother,  Lieut.  Thomas  Ball,  and  removed  to  Kent  Island,  where  he 
died  in  1 728.  Upon  the  death  of  Lieut.  Thomas  Ball  in  1 722  the  afore- 
said lands  were  inherited  by  his  children,  John  Ball  II  and  Mary  Ball, 
who  became  the  wife  of  John  Kemp,  of  Bayside. 



"Long  Point"  was  subsequently  bought  by  William  Sheild,  of 
Kent  County,  who  had  married  Rachael  Ball,  granddaughter  of  John 
Ball  II,  and  was  occupied  by  them  until  the  year  1800,  when  it  passed 
into  the  possession  of  the  Harrison  family  of  Talbot  County,  who 
occupied  it  for  over  a  hundred  years.  William  Sheild's  name  appears 
on  the  muster  roll  of  Kent  County  in  1775,  he  being  a  private  of  the 
first  class  in  the  first  company  of  the  Thirteenth  Battalion.  Later  he 
enlisted  in  Capt.  Edward  Veazey's  Independent  Company.  In  adver- 
tising "Long  Point"  for  sale  in  1799,  William  Sheild  states  that  the 
place  "is  well  adapted  to  grow  wheat,  corn  and  tobacco;  remarkable 
for  fishing,  fowling  and  oystering  and  what  renders  it  still  more 
valuable  and  agreeable  is  the  healthy  situation  of  the  place." 

The  mansion  on  "Long  Point"  was  built  by  Ralph  Elston  and  is 
now  over  200  years  old  and  still  tenanted.  It  is  a  quaint  colonial 
dwelling  house,  built  of  brick,  two  stories  and  attic,  surmounted 
by  a  hip-roof.  Two  enormous  chimneys  stand  one  at  each  end  of 
the  house.    The  second  story  has  dormer  windows. 

John  Ball,  the  emigrant,  settled  in  Talbot  County  about  1686 
and  bought  part  of  the  "Hir  Dir  Lloyd"  manor,  situated  on  the 
eastern  side  of  Third  Haven  Creek,  from  Edward  Lloyd  and  was 
living  there  in  1688.  He  died  in  1693.  His  son,  Lieut.  Thomas  Ball, 
with  Samuel  Martin,  Francis  Harrison,  Nicholas  Goldsborough, 
Robert  Grundy  and  other  gentlemen  of  Talbot,  was  one  of  the  jury 
selected  to  determine  the  value  of  the  land  to  be  purchased  for  the 
new  town  of  Oxford  when  it  was  laid  out. 

It  may  be  a  circumstance  deserving  of  remark  that  the  Ball 
family  of  Talbot,  in  whose  possession  "Long  Point"  remained  for 
so  many  years,  has  no  apparent  immediate  connection  with  the  Vir- 
ginia family  of  that  name.  The  former  belonged  to  an  ancient  English 
family  seated  in  County  Devon,  whose  armorial  bearings  are  quite 
distinct  from  those  of  the  Virginia  Balls. 

Like  nearly  all  of  the  old  homes  of  the  colonial  period,  this  house 
stands  close  to  the  water  and  around  it  grow  the  old  boxwood,  fig 
trees,  horse  chestnut  and  English  walnut  trees. 


Surveyed  1683 

BUILT  in  181 5  by  Daniel  Martin,  "The  Wilderness"  house  stands 
upon  a  small  hill  on  the  shore  of  the  Choptank  River.  From 
the  observatory  one  may  obtain  a  view  of  the  Choptank  for  miles, 
a  scene  unrivaled  for  beauty  in  this  country.  In  the  construction  of 
this  house  care  was  taken  that  haste  should  not  affect  the  solidity 
of  the  building  nor  mar  the  finish.  The  bricks  were  burnt  upon  the 
farm  and  the  mortar  made  of  lime  from  oyster  shells  taken  from  the 
river  and  sand  from  the  beach.  It  is  said  that  the  floors  were  allowed 
to  season  a  year  before  the  house  was  occupied.  Nicholas  Martin, 
the  father  of  Daniel  Martin,  who  had  lived  in  the  original  house  at 
"The  Wilderness"  and  had  inherited  it  from  his  father,  Daniel  Martin, 
was  a  man  of  prominence  in  the  affairs  of  Talbot  County  in  the 
Revolutionary  period.  He  was  captain  of  a  company  of  the  Thirty- 
eighth  Battalion  of  Maryland  Militia  and  served  during  the  entire 
conflict.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Lower  House  of  the  Maryland 
Assembly  from  1780  to  1795,  and  held  various  offices  in  the  county. 
He  died  at  "The  Wilderness"  in  i 

[  39 


In  1813,  Daniel  Martin  was  a  member  of  the  Lower  House  of  the 
Maryland  Assembly  and  was  re-elected  to  represent  Talbot  at  four 
succeeding  sessions  of  that  body.  In  iSiq  he  was  elected  Governor 
of  the  State  of  Maryland  by  an  anti-Jackson  legislature  for  one  year. 
The  succeeding  legislature  was  dominated  by  a  Jackson  majority,  and 
chose  Thomas  King  Carroll.  The  Legislature  of  1830,  however,  again 
returned  to  the  anti-Jackson  side,  and  elected  Martin,  January  3, 
1 83 1.  He  died  in  Talbot,  July  11,  1831,  in  the  middle  of  his  second 
term.  Gov.  Daniel  Martin  married,  in  18 16,  Mary  Clare  Mackubin, 
of  Annapolis.  To  her  and  his  two  daughters  Governor  Martin  left 
"The  Wilderness."  One  of  the  daughters,  Eveline  L.  Martin,  married, 
in  1839,  John  W.  Martin,  who  then  bought  the  place.  "The  Wilder- 
ness" is  now  the  home  of  J.  Ramsey  Speer,  formerly  of  Pittsburgh,  Pa. 
Mr.  Speer  has  done  much  to  beautify  the  old  estate  and  restore  it  to 
its  former  fertility  and  productiveness  as  a  plantation.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Speer  are  cordial  hosts  and  "The  Wilderness"  by  their  hospitality  has 
regained  its  former  place  in  the  social  life  of  Talbot  County. 

From  Chancellor's  Point,  the  extreme  southern  point  of  Talbot 
County,  around  which  the  Choptank  makes  an  abrupt  turn  to  the 
north,  to  the  mouth  of  the  Tred  Avon  River  there  extends  a  long 
shore  line  rugged  with  jutting  headlands  and  their  corresponding 

In  the  days  before  white  men  settled  in  Talbot  County  this  penin- 
sula was  the  site  of  an  Indian  village  and  the  happy  hunting  grounds 
of  the  tribe  that  lived  there  from  time  immemorial.  The  ground  in 
places  is  scattered  with  their  flint  arrow  heads  and  other  relics.  The 
Indians  named  the  river  Choptank,  and  they  named  many  other 
rivers  of  the  Eastern  Shore.  A  few  years  after  the  coming  of  the 
white  settlers,  these  Indians  gave  up  their  claims  to  their  lands  in 
Talbot  and  went  to  live  on  a  reservation  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Choptank  near  the  village  of  Secretary,  in  Dorchester  County.  In 
later  years  all  of  the  Indians  on  the  Eastern  Shore  went  to  other 
parts  of  the  United  States,  where  they  mingled  with  other  tribes  of 
their  race  and  in  the  Far  West  their  freedom  was  for  years  uninter- 
rupted by  the  march  of  civilization. 


Surveyed  1659 

TWENTY-ONE  years  after  the  landing  of  the  Maryland  Pilgrims 
at  St.  Mary's  one  William  Taylor  came  up  the  Tred  Avon  Creek 
and  on  the  south  side  of  what  was  then  called  Parrott  Branch 
had  surveyed  for  him,  on  August  15,  1659,  500  acres  of  forest- 
covered  land  and  named  that  tract  "Otwell."  This  was  about 
three  years  before  Talbot  was  made  a  county.  In  this  same  year 
"Hir  Dir  Lloyd"  was  granted  to  Edward  Lloyd;  "Grafton  Manor," 
1,000  acres,  to  John  Harris;  "Canterbury  Manor,"  1,000  acres,  to 
Richard  Tilghman;  "Tilghman's  Fortune,"  1,000  acres,  to  Samuel 
Tilghman;  "Chancellor's  Point,"  1,000  acres,  to  Philip  Calvert. 

These  were  the  earliest  grants  in  Talbot  of  i  ,000  acres  or  over,  and 
it  can  be  truthfully  said  of  "Otwell"  that  it  was  among  the  pioneer 
grants  of  the  Eastern  Shore,  though  of  less  than  1,000  acres,  and  like 
all  the  other  grants  mentioned  has  been  subdivided  from  time  to 
time  until  it  is  now  very  much  smaller  than  the  original. 

Writing  of  this  estate  some  years  ago,  the  late  Dr.  Edmund  M. 
Goldsborough  states  that  the  loss  of  original  acres  detracts  not  from 



the  charm  of  the  colonial  house;  no  unsympathetic  hand  has  inter- 
vened to  despoil  the  atmosphere  of  a  fragrant  past.  The  house  of 
"Otwell"  stands  today  an  exemplification  of  the  tastes  and  charac- 
teristics which  prevailed  among  the  gentlemen  who  lived  in  later 
colonial  times.  The  substantial  lines  of  the  English  farmhouse  are 
discernible  in  the  architecture  of  this  early  home  of  the  Golds- 
boroughs,  into  whose  family  "Otwell"  came  many  years  ago. 

Otwell  still  remains  in  the  family,  it  being  owned  by  Matthew 


This  estate  of  about  i,ioo  acres  is  beautifully  situated  on  the 
Wye  River  and  was  a  part  of  the  landed  estate  of  Governor 
Edward  Lloyd  of  "Wye  House."  The  mansion  house,  situated  on  a 
bluff,  overlooks  the  river  and  Wye  Island  on  the  opposite  side. 
"Wye  Heights"  is  now  owned  by  James  Fletcher,  who  takes  pride 
in  keeping  the  estate,  as  well  as  the  house  and  surroundings,  in  the 
highest  state  of  improvement. 


Surveyed  1659 

THIS  old  manor  became  the  home  of  Henry  Hollyday  about  1749, 
and  here  he  brought  his  bride,  Anna  Maria  Robins,  that  year.  It 
is  said  that  he  built  the  present  manor  house  at  that  time.  The  first 
Henry  Hollyday  died  in  i/Sq,  and  the  estate  passed  to  his  son,  Henry 
Hollyday;  he  died  in  1850.  Richard  C.  Hollyday,  one  of  his  sons,  long 
lived  at  "Ratcliffe,"  and  was  Secretary  of  State  of  Maryland  under 
several  governors.  His  widow  married  the  late  United  States  Senator 
Charles  Hopper  Gibson. 

"Ratcliffe  Manor  House"  is  more  distinguished  in  appearance 
than  the  majority  of  homes  built  at  the  same  period.  The  rooms  are 
capacious,  the  ceilings  high,  and  the  quaintly  carved  woodwork 
delights  the  connoisseur  of  the  colonial.  The  harmony  of  the  interior 
is  equaled  by  the  effect  of  the  dark-red  brick  structure,  now  almost 
covered  by  rich  green  English  ivy.  Many  plants  in  the  formal  garden 
were  brought  to  "Ratcliffe"  in  the  early  days  of  the  Hollydays,  and 
new  varieties  of  ornamental  shrubbery  have  been  added  by  the  present 
owner,  A.  A.  Hathaway,  formerly  of  Wisconsin. 


Built  1663 

HAMPDEN,"  the  ancestral  home  of  the  Martins  of  Talbot 
County,  was  built,  it  is  said,  in  1663  by  Thomas  Martin,  the 
emigrant.  The  house  stands  on  a  branch  of  Dividing  Creek  amid  a 
grove  of  giant  trees  and,  while  it  is  unpretentious,  it  embodies  the 
substantial  lines  of  the  English  farmhouse  of  that  day.  It  is  claimed 
that  "Hampden"  was  the  first  brick  house  in  Talbot. 

Thomas  Martin  was  born  in  Dorsetshire,  England,  in  1629,  and 
arrived  in  the  Province  of  Maryland  in  1663.  He  acquired  200  acres 
from  Edward  Lloyd,  part  of  the  "Hir  Dir  Lloyd"  grant,  and  on  it 
built  this  house  which  he  named  "Hampden,"  in  honor  of  his  friend, 
John  Hampden,  of  England.  In  addition  to  this  place  Thomas  Martin 
owned  several  large  tracts  of  land  in  Talbot  County.  In  1692  when 
the  parishes  were  laid  out  he  was  selected  by  the  freeholders  living 
in  St.  Peter's  Parish  as  one  of  the  vestrymen  and  to  the  credit  of  his 
descendants  it  is  said  one  or  more  of  them  have  been  members  of 
the  vestry  for  over  200  years  of  Old  Whitemarsh  Church,  now  in 
crumbling  ruins. 



In  Island  Neck  Creek  many  homes  were  built  in  the  early 
days  of  the  county  and  on  Dividing  Creek  nearly  opposite  to  "Hamp- 
den" is  the  ancestral  home  of  the  Stevens  family,  "Compton."  From 
the  porch  of  this  old  mansion  down  over  the  well-kept  lawns  a  fine 
view  meets  the  eye.  The  quiet  waters  of  Dividing  Creek,  the  swift- 
flowing  current  of  the  Choptank  River  and  the  blue-gray  shore  line 
of  Dorchester  present  a  beautiful  picture.  Like  "Hampden,"  this 
home  was  built  of  brick. 

John  Stevens  built  "Compton"  in  1770,  and  here  entertained  his 
friends  in  lavish  style.  In  1788  he  was  a  member  of  the  Maryland 
Convention  which  ratified  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  of 
America,  his  colleagues  from  Talbot  in  this  convention  being  Robert 
Goldsborough,  Jr.,  Edward  Lloyd  and  Jeremiah  Banning.  In  1794 
John  Stevens  died  at  "Compton,"  leaving  an  only  son,  Samuel 

Samuel  Stevens  became  Governor  of  the  State  of  Maryland  in 
1822.  Like  his  father,  he  was  a  very  popular  man  and  his  home  was 
the  rendezvous  of  local  as  well  as  State  celebrities.  In  1824  Gov. 
Samuel  Stevens  extended  an  invitation  to  General  Lafayette  to  again 
visit  Annapolis.  The  distinguished  Frenchman  accepted  the  invita- 
tion and  a  public  reception  and  ball  was  held  at  the  State  House  in 
his  honor.  During  General  Lafayette's  stay  at  Annapolis,  Governor 
Stevens  sent  a  message  to  the  State  Assembly,  which  was  in  session 
at  that  time,  asking  that  General  Lafayette  and  his  male  heirs  forever 
be  made  citizens  of  the  State  of  Maryland.  This  was  done  by  unani- 
mous action  on  the  part  of  both  branches  of  the  Assembly.  Governor 
Stevens  remained  in  office  by  two  re-elections  until  1826  and  then 
returned  to  "Compton,"  where  he  spent  a  long  and  active  life,  dying 
there  in  i860.  At  his  death  the  property  passed  out  of  the  Stevens 
family  and  is  now  owned  by  Charles  B.  Lloyd. 




IT  is  an  interesting  fact  that  this  old  county  was  that  part  of  the 
Province  of  Maryland  officially  known  at  St.  Mary's  City  from 
1 66 1  to  1666  as  "The  Eastern  Shore,"  while  the  section  north  of  the 
Choptank  River  was  known  as  the  "Isle  of  Kent."  Under  date  of 
February  4,  1662,  John  Elzey,  Randall  Revell  and  Stephen  Horsey 
were  made  Commissioners  for  the  territory  south  of  the  Choptank 
River.  They  held  their  offices  until  February  20,  1663,  when  Elzey 
and  Horsey  were  reappointed  by  the  Governor  and  Council,  and  Ran- 
dall was  succeeded  by  William  Thorne.  On  the  1 5th  of  August,  1663, 
Elzey,  Horsey,  Thorne  and  Capt.  John  Odber  were  made  "Commis- 
sioners for  that  part  of  the  Province  newly  seated  called  the  Eastern 
Shore,"  and  on  the  26th  of  May,  1664,  Governor  Charles  Calvert 
"nominated,  constituted  and  empowered  Stephen  Horsey,  Capt. 
William  Thorne  and  Mr.  William  Bozeman,  gentleman,  or  any  two 
of  them  being  within  this  Province  to  grant  warrants  for  land  during 
the  term  of  six  months  ensuing  to  date  hereof  upon  the  Eastern  Shore 
of  this  Province  in  any  part  between  the  Choptank  River  and  a  line 
drawn  east  into  the  Maine  Ocean  from  Watkins  Point."  A  commis- 
sion was  issued  August  28,  1665,  to  Horsey  and  Thorne  "to  continue 
Justices  of  the  Peace  on  the  Eastern  Shore,"  and  George  Johnson, 
William  Stevens,  John  White,  John  Winder,  James  Jones  and  Henry 
Boston  were  joined  with  them.  These  same  men  were  appointed 
February  23,  1666,  Commissioners  for  the  Eastern  Shore  for  one  year; 
and  just  six  months  later,  August  22,  1666,  the  county  was  created, 
and  a  new  commission  of  the  peace  issued  to  them. 

The  boundaries  of  the  new  county  were  set  out  in  the  Proprietary's 
proclamation  with  all  the  exactness  of  the  geographical  knowledge  of 
the  day:  "Bounded  on  the  south  with  a  line  drawn  from  Wattkins' 
Point  to  the  Ocean  on  the  East,  Nanticoke  River  on  the  north  and  the 



sound  of  Chesipiake  Bay  on  the  West,"  and  it  was  given  the  name  of 
"Sommersett  County  in  honor  to  our  Deare  Sister,  the  Lady  Mary 
Somersett."  Somerset,  Worcester  and  Wicomico  Counties,  as  at  pres- 
ent constituted,  were  within  this  area. 

Many  attractions  were  presented  by  this  territory  to  the  immi- 
grant. The  climate  was  mild,  tempered  by  ocean  and  bay,  the  soil, 
fertile  and  kind,  responded  generously  to  even  the  shallowest  culti- 
vation. The  Nanticoke,  Wicomico,  Manokin,  Great  Annamessex, 
Little  Annamessex,  Pocomoke,  and  other  streams  traversed  or  in- 
dented the  county.  On  the  east  the  Chincoteague  Bay  made  a  break 
between  the  mainland  and  the  long  seashore  of  sand  which  stretches 
from  Ocean  City  to  the  State  line.  These  waters  not  only  furnished 
abundant  and  delicious  food,  but  they  were  the  principal  thorough- 
fares for  travel  from  place  to  place  in  this  new  country  where  the 
land,  except  that  adjacent  to  the  navigable  waters,  was  but  little 
more  than  a  pathless  wilderness.  Along  the  banks  of  these  water 
courses  the  first  settlements  were  made  and  the  first  places  of  worship 
were  near  to  the  rivers.  It  was  a  familiar  sight  to  the  early  colonists 
to  see  the  rivers  dotted  with  sail  boats  going  to  and  from  the  Sunday 
services  held  in  the  primitive  churches  of  the  early  days  of  the 

Many  of  the  early  settlers  in  Somerset,  as  in  the  other  counties 
of  the  Province,  had  fled  from  religious  persecution  in  the  Old  World. 
They  sought  and  found  in  the  New  World  an  asylum  in  Maryland 
where  each  one  was  permitted  to  worship  God  as  his  conscience  dic- 
tated. Here  indeed  was  a  new  country,  rich  in  opportunities  and  made 
famous  as  the  first  to  offer  absolutely  free  religious  worship.  Such 
was  the  land  of  which  Somerset  County  was  a  part.  With  its  natural 
advantages,  its  forests  abounding  with  game  both  large  and  small, 
its  rivers  yielding  bountifully  of  fish,  oysters  and  crabs,  it  is  not  sur- 
prising that  Somerset  soon  became  a  very  important  part  of  Cecilius 
Calvert's  Colony. 

Into  this  part  of  the  Province  of  Maryland  as  early  as  1661  came 
John  Elzey,  Randall  Revell,  Edmund  Howard,  Stephen  Horsey, 
William  Thorne,  Capt.  John  Odber,  George  Johnson,  William  Stevens, 
John  White,  Matthew  Scarborough,  John  Winder,  William  Bozeman, 
James  Jones  and  Henry  Boston,  men  whose  descendants  have  dwelt 



here  in  this  delightful  land  for  the  250  years  that  have  intervened 
since  those  pioneer  settlers  drove  their  axes  into  the  trees  and  made 
clearings  on  which  to  grow  grain  and  tobacco.  Some  of  the  early 
grants  in  Somerset  were :  "Bridges'  Lot,"  i ,  100  acres,  1663,  to  Joseph 
Bridges;  "Darby,"  3,000  acres,  1663,  to  Henry  Sewall;  "Jordan's 
Point,"  1,000  acres,  1662,  to  Thomas  Jordan;  "More  &  Case  It," 
1,200  acres,  1662,  to  William  Bozeman;  "Revell's  Grove,"  1,500  acres, 
1665,  to  Randall  Revell;  "Rice's  Land,"  1,000  acres,  1663,  to  Nicholas 
Rice;  "Stanley,"  1,350  acres,  1663,  to  Hugh  Stanley;  "The  Strand," 
1,000  acres,  1663,  to  Daniel  Jenifer;  "Wicomico,"  1,000  acres,  1663, 
to  Henry  Sewall;  "Rehoboth,"  1,000  acres,  1665,  to  Col.  William 

When,  in  1742,  the  Assembly  created  a  new  county  on  the  "sea- 
board side  of  Somerset" — ^Worcester — Somerset  lost  much  of  its  origi- 
nal territory  and  about  half  of  its  inhabitants.  In  the  erection  of 
Wicomico  County  in  1 867  Somerset  again  contributed  area  and  popu- 
lation. She  is  the  "mother"  county  south  of  the  Choptank,  as  Kent 
is  north  of  the  river.  Edmund  Beauchamp  was  the  first  "Clerk  and 
Keeper  of  the  Records"  of  Somerset,  and  Stephen  Horsey  became  the 
first  Sheriff.  In  January,  1666,  the  Somerset  County  Court  met  at 
the  house  of  Thomas  Pool  in  Revell's  Neck.  A  lot  for  the  public 
buildings  on  the  Manokin  River  was  deeded  the  Proprietary  in  1668 
by  Randall  Revell,  where  a  town  was  to  be  laid  out  for  the  county- 
seat,  to  be  called  "Sommerton."  Soon  afterward,  however,  the  court 
ceased  meeting  on  Revell's  place,  the  town  never  became  an  actuality, 
and  the  county  business  was  transacted  on  Dividing  Creek.  At  the 
March  term  of  the  court,  1694,  it  was  ordered  that  a  tract  of  land 
not  exceeding  200  acres  be  purchased  near  Dividing  Creek  on  which 
a  court  house  was  to  be  built.  The  order  called  for  a  building  fifty 
feet  long  by  twenty  feet  wide  with  gable  ends  of  brick.  Nothing 
remains  of  that  court  house  although  its  approximate  site  is  still 
known  as  "Court  House  Hill."  In  1732  the  Assembly  authorized  the 
purchase  of  twenty-five  acres,  part  of  the  original  grant  known  as 
"Beckford,"  the  land  to  be  laid  out  into  lots  and  a  town  built  to  be 
called  Princess  Anne.  Here  the  court  house  was  built  and  this  old 
town,  laid  out  in  1733,  has  been  the  county-seat  ever  since. 

Princess  Anne  is  on  the  south  side  of  the  Manokin  River  near  its 



headwaters.  Its  most  striking  feature  is  its  wide  and  beautifully 
shaded  streets.  At  Princess  Anne  is  St.  Andrews,  the  parish  church 
of  Somerset  Parish,  (1692).  At  Rehoboth,  a  small  hamlet  near  the 
Pocomoke  River,  stands  the  ruins  of  one  of  the  first  churches  built 
in  the  Province,  the  parish  church  of  Coventry  Parish.  When  the 
four  parishes  of  Coventry,  Snow  Hill,  Somerset  and  Stepney  were 
laid  out  in  Somerset  County  the  following  appeared  as  vestrymen: 
John  Huett,  Richard  Chambers,  John  Painter,  Nathaniel  Horsey, 
Miles  Grey,  Peter  Elzey,  Francis  Jenckins,  George  Layfield,  Thomas 
Nuball,  William  Planer,  Thomas  Dixon,  William  Coleburn,  James 
Weatherly,  John  Bounds,  Philip  Carter,  Robert  Collier,  Thomas 
Holebrooke,  Philip  Askue,  Matthew  Scarborough,  William  Round, 
John  Francklin,  Thomas  Pointer,  Thomas  Selby  and  Edward 

A  chain  of  low-lying  islands  trending  north  and  south  divide  the 
Chesapeake  Bay  from  Tangier  Sound,  in  the  Somerset  area,  a  beauti- 
ful salt  water  sheet  that  abounds  in  delicious  oysters.  Here,  too,  is 
to  be  found  the  greatest  quantities  of  crabs.  The  catching  of  crabs 
gives  occupation  to  a  great  many  men  living  at  or  near  Crisfield,  a 
large  and  thriving  town  in  the  southwestern  part  of  the  county.  From 
Crisfield  soft  crabs  are  shipped  to  all  parts  of  the  United  States. 

During  the  session  of  the  Convention  of  Maryland  which  lasted 
from  July  26  to  August  14,  1 775,  the  names  of  Somerset  patriots  were 
affixed  to  the  Association  of  Freemen  of  Maryland,  an  agreement 
made  with  the  other  American  colonies  to  stand  by  them  in  resisting 
the  policy  of  "taxation  without  representation"  which  England  had 
forced  upon  them.  It  was  at  this  session  also  that  the  resolution  was 
passed  that  there  be  forty  companies  of  minute  men  enrolled  in  the 
Province,  as  soon  as  may  be,  each  company  to  consist  of  one  captain, 
two  lieutenants,  one  ensign,  four  sergeants,  four  corporals,  one  drum- 
mer, one  fifer,  and  sixty-eight  privates.  Somerset  enrolled  one  of 
these  forty  companies  from  the  men  who  had  previously  signed  the 
muster  rolls.  Prior  to  this  time,  the  muster  rolls  show  two  battalions 
had  been  organized  in  the  county.  The  First  Battalion,  commanded 
by  Col.  George  Dashiell,  and  the  Seventeenth  Battalion,  by  Col. 
Thomas  Hayward,  were  two  of  the  thirty-eight  battalions  of  volun- 
teers enrolled  in  Maryland  in  1775. 



It  is  not  out  of  place  to  mention  here  the  important  part  Watkins' 
Point,  the  southernmost  point  of  land  in  Somerset,  played  in  the 
adjustment  of  the  boundary  between  the  Virginia  Colony  and  the 
Province  of  Maryland.  In  the  charter  which  gave  the  Province  of 
Maryland  to  Cecilius  Calvert  this  Watkins'  Point  was  the  beginning 
place  in  the  description  of  the  bounds  of  the  Province.  The  following 
extract  from  the  description  includes  reference  to  the  line  from  Cin- 
quack  to  Watkins'  Point:  "to  the  First  Fountain  of  the  River  of 
Potowmack,  thence  verging  towards  the  South  into  the  further  bank 
of  the  said  River  and  following  the  same  on  the  West  and  South  unto 
a  place  called  Cinquack  situated  near  the  mouth  of  the  said  River 
where  it  disembogues  into  the  aforesaid  Bay  of  Chesapeake  and 
thence  by  the  shortest  line  unto  the  aforesaid  Promontory  or  Place 
called  Watkins'  Point."  The  King,  Charles  I,  had  before  him  when 
framing  the  charter  a  map  which  Capt.  John  Smith  had  made  in 
1608.  On  that  map  Captain  Smith  had  indicated  an  Indian  village 
lying  close  to  the  western  shore  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  and  about 
six  or  seven  miles  south  of  the  mouth  of  the  Potomac  River;  this  was 
the  Indian  village  called  ''Cinquack."  Several  times  since  the  landing 
of  Leonard  Calvert  with  the  colonists  on  March  25,  1634,  this  line 
has  been  the  subject  of  dispute  between  Maryland  and  Virginia.  Its 
final  adjustment  in  1877  terminated  the  dispute,  but  not  until  iqi6 
was  the  line  between  the  two  States  marked  by  permanent  buoys. 
This  latter  work  was  authorized  in  ic)i6  by  the  Maryland  Assembly. 



Built  in  1793 

WORKINGTON"  manor  house  is  of  pure  Georgian  architecture 
and  stands  on  the  grassy  banks  of  picturesque  Back  Creek,  not 
far  from  its  junction  with  the  Manokin  River.  This  estate  adjoins 
two  others  of  prominence — ''Arlington"  and  ''Westover";  the  former 
is  built  of  glazed  bricks  and  stands  today  as  originally  constructed, 
the  latter  has  been  rebuilt  by  the  owner.  Western  Starr. 

Henry  Jackson  emigrated  to  Maryland  from  Workington,  Eng- 
land, and  obtained  a  grant  for  the  land  on  which  he  built,  in  1 793,  this 
home.  Fortified  by  the  courage  and  spirit  that  typified  the  founders 
of  this  great  Nation.  Henry  Jackson  built  the  magnificent  home  in 
what  was  then  the  primeval  forest  of  the  Eastern  Shore.  The  house 
is  substantially  built  of  brick  and  the  woodwork  is  of  the  heart  pine 
of  this  section  of  Somerset.  From  these  forests  he  selected  the  most 
perfect  material,  that  has  lasted  and  will  yet  last  for  years  to  come. 

One  wonders  at  the  patience  exhibited  by  the  workmen  in  carry- 
ing out  the  various  details  in  hand  carvings  seen  in  the  finishing  of 
the  cornices  and  paneling  throughout  the  house.    This  adherence  to 



detail  is  in  evidence  in  the  doors,  moldings  and  mantels,  too.  No 
expense  was  spared  in  making  the  house  complete,  according  to  the 
architecture  of  that  period. 

Luckily,  "Working- 
ton" remained  for  several 
generations  in  the  hands 
of  those  who  made  no 
alterations  to  mar  its 
beauty,  and  fortune  still 
followed  this  old  home- 
stead when  the  present 
owner,  Ralph  P.  Thomp- 
son, came  to  Somerset 
and  found  and  purchased 
this  estate. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thomp- 
son saw  this  gem  of  col- 
onial architecture  buried 
in  the  dust  and  neglect  of 
time.  To  their  refined 
tastes,  time  and  labor  must  be  given  the  credit  for  the  restoration  of 
"Workington"  to  the  home  it  was  at  the  close  of  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury, when  this  house  was  the  pride  of  the  builder,  Henry  Jackson. 


Built  1706 

FRANCIS  MAKEMIE,  a  pioneer  Presbyterian  minister,  came  to 
Maryland  in  1683  in  response  to  a  request  sent  to  England  in 
1 68 1  by  Col.  William  Stevens,  and  built  in  1706  upon  land  which  he 
acquired  the  present  Rehoboth  Presbyterian  Church,  familiarly  called 
"Makemie's  Church."  A  man  of  wonderful  talents,  he  aroused  the 
latent  religious  energy  of  the  settlers  of  lower  Somerset  and  upper 
Accomac  County,  Virginia,  and  to  him  more  than  anyone  else  is  due 
the  credit  for  establishing  the  Presbyterian  Church  in  America.  The 
same  year  he  built  Rehoboth  Church  he  organized  at  Philadelphia 
the  first  General  Presbytery  of  America  and  was  chosen  the  first 
moderator.  He  retired  in  1707  to  his  home  at  Holden's  Creek,  Va., 
where  he  died  in  July,  1708. 

Col.  William  Stevens,  a  native  of  Buckinghamshire,  England, 
was  one  of  the  earliest  settlers  in  this  part  of  Somerset  County  and 
obtained  a  grant  of  1,000  acres  which  he  named  "Rehoboth,"  taking 
the  name  from  a  verse  found  in  the  Old  Testament — Genesis,  26th 
chapter,  22nd  verse: 



And  he  removed  from  thence,  and  digged  another  well;  and  for 
that  they  strove  not :  and  he  called  the  name  of  it  Rehoboth;  and  he 
said.  For  now  the  Lord  hath  made  room  for  us,  and  we  shall  be  fruit- 
ful in  the  land. 

A  man  of  wealth  and  great  prominence,  Col.  William  Stevens  was 
made  a  commissioner  of  the  county,  which  place,  it  is  said,  he  retained 
until  his  death  in  1687.  Upon  his  tombstone  the  following  inscription 
appears:  "He  was  twenty-two  years  judge  of  this  county  court,  one 
of  His  Lordship's  Council  and  one  of  the  deputy  lieutenants  of  this 
Province  of  Maryland."  Writing  of  this  one  of  Maryland's  earliest 
settlers.  Rev.  John  D.  Howk,  in  his  "Rehoboth  by  the  River,"  from 
which  these  notes  are  taken,  says:  "It  seems  only  proper  that  the 
Presbyterian  Church,  the  County  of  Somerset  and  the  State  of  Mary- 
land should  take  some  step,  in  recognition  of  his  prominence  and  long 
and  faithful  services,  to  guard  this  historic  relic,  [Col.  Stevens'  tomb], 
from  oblivion."  As  early  as  1670,  as  the  Scotch,  Scotch-Irish,  French 
and  Quakers  continued  to  seek  these  friendly  shores  a  small  hamlet 
was  growing  up  at  the  great  bend  of  the  Pocomoke  River,  first  known 
as  ''Pocomoke  Town,"  but  later  taking  the  name  of  Colonel  Stevens 
plantation,  "Rehoboth."  The  prominence  of  Colonel  Stevens,  who 
was  the  owner  of  over  20,000  acres  of  land  in  the  colony,  made  it  a 
place  of  importance  far  beyond  its  size. 

Upon  the  death  of  the  Rev.  Francis  Makemie  in  1708  the  Rev. 
John  Henry  took  up  the  work  of  Rehoboth  and  married  the  widow 
of  Col.  Francis  Jenkins,  one  of  the  Justices  for  Somerset,  and  a  member 
of  His  Lordship's  Council.  She  was  the  Lady  Mary,  daughter  of  Sir 
Robert  King.  Rev.  and  Mrs.  Henry  had  two  sons,  Robert  Jenkins 
and  John,  both  of  whom  became  prominent  in  the  Province.  The  Rev. 
John  Henry  died  in  17 17  and  he  was  succeeded  by  the  Rev.  John 
Hampton,  then  in  charge  at  Snow  Hill.  He  married  the  beautiful 
widow  of  the  Rev.  John  Henry,  who  survived  her  last  husband,  she 
dying  in  1744.  Her  grave  is  still  to  be  seen  near  the  old  town  of 


Surveyed  1663 

Built  about  1750 

SHORTLY  after  King  Charles  I  granted  to  Cecilius  Calvert,  Baron 
of  Baltimore,  on  June  20,  1632,  the  charter  for  the  Province  of 
Maryland,  there  arose  a  contention  as  to  the  southerly  boundary. 
The  boundaries  of  Maryland  are  described  in  the  charter  as  begin- 
ning at  Watkins'  Point  and  running  east  to  the  ocean.  This  point, 
which  caused  early  contention,  is  located  in  Cedar  Straits,  which  con- 
nect the  waters  of  Tangier  and  Pocomoke  Sounds,  and  is  five  miles 
from  the  thriving  town  of  Crisfield. 

Almost  within  sight  of  Watkins'  Point  and  just  beyond  the  town 
limits  of  Crisfield  are  standing  two  very  old  houses,  "Makepeace.'' 
and  the  "Old  Lankford  Home,"  the  birthplace  of  Benjamin  Lankford 
in  I  -JO,-].  John  Roach  probably  built  "Makepeace" shortly  after  the  sur- 
vey for  him  of  the  tract,  February  g,  1663,  which  contained  1 50  acres. 
The  bricks  used  in  building  the  house  are  glazed.  The  first  owner  of 
"Makepeace"  died  in  1717,  leaving  the  estate  to  his  son,  John,  who 
devised  it  to  his  son,  Charles.  The  estate  remained  in  the  Roach 
family  until   1826,  when  William  Roach  sold  it  to  Robert  Moore. 

[  5^  ] 


The  following  year  Jacob  James  Cullen  purchased  "Makepeace,"  he 
having  a  short  time  before  emigrated  from  Ireland  and  settled  in 
Annamessex  Hundred,  on  Johnson  Creek.  The  place  remained  in  the 
Cullen  family  for  many  years,  it  being  owned,  in  turn,  by  Trevis  and 
John  Cullen.  The  latter  sold  "Makepeace"  to  Capt.  Elijah  Sterling, 
whose  son,  Luther,  inherited  it  and  in  the  ownership  of  whose  widow, 
the  present  Mrs.  Mary  Chelton,  it  now  rests.  The  families  who  have 
been  connected  with  "Makepeace" — the  Roaches,  Gunbys,  Atkinsons, 
Sterlings,  Cullens  and  Cheltons — are  all  prominent  ones  of  Somerset. 

The  "Old  Lankford  Home,"  located  in  Lawson's  District,  is  very 
odd  in  design  and  construction.  But  few  houses  now  exist  on  this  Pen- 
insula having  brick  ends  with  the  sides  built  of  logs.  The  writer  has 
observed  the  ruins  of  houses  of  similar  construction  at  Port  Tobacco, 
once  the  county-seat  of  Charles  County,  today  a  "deserted  village." 

Benjamin  Lankford,  the  son  of  Benjamin  Lankford,  born  i/qj, 
was  elected  Commissioner  of  Public  Works  of  Maryland  under  the 
Constitution  of  1851  and  was  also  elected  from  Somerset  to  fourteen 
sessions  of  the  House  of  Delegates  and  two  sessions  of  the  Senate. 
The  last  of  the  name  to  own  the  property  was  James  F.  Lankford,  who 
died  in  1897,  when  the  property  passed  out  of  the  family  and  was 
purchased  by  John  Betts. 


Built  1683 

ABOUT  ten  miles  from  Princess  Anne,  at  the  head  of  King's  Creek, 
L  is  situated  one  of  the  notable  places  of  the  lower  Eastern  Shore — 
"Kingston  Hall,"  known  in  the  earliest  records  as  "Kingland,"  the 
successive  owners  of  which,  almost  to  the  present  day,  have  been 
prominently  identified  with  the  social,  professional  and  political  life 
of  the  county  and  State.  It  is  the  ancestral  home  of  the  King-Carroll 
family,  and  contained,  it  is  said,  6,000  acres  in  the  original  grant  to 
Robert  King.  On  one  of  the  divisions,  formerly  a  corner  of  the  estate, 
the  little  village  of  Kingston  sprang  up,  and  near  this  is  the  railroad 
station  of  Kingston. 

Built  in  1683  by  Major  Robert  King,  a  member  of  an  ancient  and 
honorable  family  in  Ireland,  who  came  to  this  country  a  short  while 
before,  "Kingston  Hall"  was  the  home  of  his  descendants  for  more 
than  a  century  and  a  half.  Major  King,  who  had  been  a  member  in 
the  House  of  Burgesses  and  Justice  of  the  Provincial  Court  of  Mary- 
land, was  for  years  prior  to  his  death  Naval  Officer  of  the  Pocomoke 
District.    Upon  the  death  of  Major  King  the  estate  of  "Kingland" 



passed  to  his  son.  Col.  Robert  King,  and  at  his  death,  to  the  son  of 
Robert  King  IIL  This  son,  Thomas  King,  married  Miss  Reid,  of 
Virginia,  and  had  but  one  child,  Elizabeth  Barnes  King,  who  inherited 
the  estate,  upon  which  she  continued  to  live  after  her  marriage  to 
Col.  Henry  James  Carroll  of  Susquehanna,  St.  Mary's  County. 
It  became  the  property  of  the  elder  of  her  two  sons,  Thomas  King 
and  Charles  Cecilius  Carroll.  Thomas  King  Carroll,  a  man  of  rare 
intellectual  gifts  and  elegant  culture,  married  Miss  Stevenson,  daughter 
of  Dr.  Henry  Stevenson,  of  Baltimore.  He  was  elected  a  member  of  the 
Legislature  and  later  Governor  of  Maryland.  At  the  expiration  of  his 
term  as  governor  he  returned  to  "Kingston  Hall,"  where  he  continued 
to  live  until  he  removed  to  Dorchester  County  in  1840.  The  estate 
was  purchased  at  this  time  by  a  member  of  the  distinguished  Dennis 
family  of  Somerset,  a  friend  and  neighbor  of  Governor  Carroll,  remain- 
ing in  the  possession  of  his  descendants  for  a  great  many  years.  In 
later  years  it  has  been  divided  into  several  farms  and  sold  to  various 
owners,  being  now  the  home  of  Mr.  Hallberg,  formerly  of  Alabama. 

During  the  life  of  Col.  Henry  James  Carroll  there  were  150  slaves 
occupying  quarters  on  the  estate.  Everything  needed  for  them  was 
produced  on  the  place.  A  coach  and  four,  with  liveried  outriders,  was 
the  style  in  which  Colonel  Carroll  and  his  wife  traveled  yearly  to 
the  White  Sulphur  Springs.  The  stately  old  manor  house  remains 
practically  unchanged  to  the  present  day.  The  main  building  is  of 
brick,  three  stories  high,  and  had  extensive  frame  additions  at  either 
end.  One  of  these  wings  has  been  removed,  but  the  house  now  contains 
twenty-two  rooms.  Surmounting  the  main  building  is  a  tower  room 
commanding  a  view  of  the  surrounding  country  for  miles.  Many  of 
the  rooms  at  the  Hall  retain  their  colonial  features,  while  quaint  cup- 
boards and  "secret"  panels  enhance  the  charm  of  the  house.  In  former 
years  a  long  avenue  of  Lombardy  poplars  and  cedars  formed  the 
approach  to  the  mansion,  and  magnificent  trees,  terraced  gardens, 
box-bordered  walks,  magnolia  and  native  tulip  trees,  hedges  of  roses, 
lilacs,  mock-orange,  hollyhocks,  and  sweet-scented  shrub  bushes  made 
a  setting  of  indescribable  beauty,  much  of  which  time  has  failed  to 

Built  by  John  Done 

WHEN  Princess  Anne  was  laid  out  in  lots  way  back  before  the 
Revolutionary  War,  one  of  them.  No.  15,  was  bought  by  John 
Done.  Here  he  built  a  home  and  it  is  generally  supposed  this  home 
embodied  the  nature  of  a  tavern,  for  it  is  known  that  Zadok  Long 
bought  the  place  from  Done  on  the  17th  of  June,  1797,  and  that 
Long  had  rented  the  property  prior  to  buying  it  and  had  conducted 
it  as  a  tavern. 

Here  in  the  "land  of  the  cedar  and  vine,  where  the  flowers  ever 
blossom,  the  beams  ever  shine,"  this  old  Washington  Hotel  has  been 
the  stopping  place  for  travelers  from  all  walks  of  life.  Here  they  have 
dined  upon  the  tempting  viands  prepared  by  good  old  cooks  of  long 
ago,  here  they  have  slept,  laughed  and  sighed.  The  long  list  of  those 
who  found  welcome  and  partook  of  its  hospitality  include  the  famous 
barrister,  Luther  Martin,  the  first  Attorney-General  of  the  State  of 
Maryland.  Luther  Martin  was  of  counsel  for  Aaron  Burr  in  his  trial 
for  treason  at  Richmond.    Judge  Samuel  Chase,  one  of  the  Signers 



of  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  a  native  of  Somerset,  was  a 
frequent  visitor,  as  was  also  his  distinguished  father,  who  was  rector 
of  Somerset  Parish  at  one  time.  During  the  life  of  Governor  Thomas 
King  Carroll,  he  made  this  old  Washington  Hotel  his  headquarters. 
Here,  too.  Governor  Levin  Winder  shook  hands  with  his  host  of 
friends  and  felt  the  warmth  of  the  support  of  his  fellow  Eastern 

Writing  entertainingly  of  this  old  hostelry,  one  of  the  Eastern 
Shore's  fair  ladies  says,  "it  has  sheltered  statesmen.  State  officials, 
members  of  the  Army  and  Navy,  politicians,  historians,  poets,  minis- 
ters and  novelists;  all  have  found  here  a  welcome  and  hospitality 
equalled  by  few,  surpassed  by  no  other  hotel  in  America."  Here  over 
the  poker  table  negro  slaves  have  been  wagered,  lost  and  won  by 
their  masters.  Gambling  was  entered  into  by  the  gentlemen  of  the 
good  old  days  and  poker  was  a  favorite  with  them. 

How  surprised  would  those  guests  of  the  Revolutionary  times  be 
if  they  found  their  rooms  lighted  by  electric  lights  instead  of  the  old 
tallow  "dip."  The  great  open  fireplaces  are  still  in  use,  but  those  old- 
time  guests  would  be  surprised  by  the  steam  radiators  in  their  rooms, 
and  the  telephones — but  the  story  would  be  too  long  to  tell  of  the 
progress  made  in  the  intervening  years.  Then  no  trains  connected 
Princess  Anne  with  the  outside  world  nor  were  there  the  steamboats 
that  ply  between  this  old  town  and  Baltimore,  and  which  have  sup- 
planted travel  by  sailing  vessels. 


Built  about   i8oi 

JUST  west  of  the  limits  of  Princess  Anne  stands  the  Teackle 
Mansion,  built  on  the  lines  of  an  English  castle  by  Littleton 
Dennis  Teackle.  The  main  or  central  part  of  the  old  house  is  quite 
large  with  the  usual  colonial  trimmings  on  the  windows  and  doors. 
The  two  wings  of  Teackle  Mansion,  while  smaller,  are  also  splendid 
examples  of  the  colonial  workmanship  and  architecture. 

Littleton  D.  Teackle  was  a  progressive  man  and  entered  into  the 
financial  and  political  life  of  Somerset  County.  He  was  the  founder 
and  first  president  of  the  first  banking  institution  in  the  county — 
the  Bank  of  Somerset.  He  was  at  one  time  a  member  of  the  Maryland 
Assembly  and  took  an  active  part  in  the  work  of  that  body. 

The  old  house  stands  on  a  part  of  the  original  grant  "Beckford," 
and  which  part  was  bought  in  1801  by  Mr.  Teackle  from  George 
Wilson  Jackson.  The  property  is  now  owned  and  occupied  by  three 
families.  The  main  part  is  the  home  of  E.  Orrick  Smith.  Miss 
Euphemia  A.  Woolford  owns  the  north  wing  and  the  south  wing  is 
the  home  of  Francis  H.  Dashiell. 


Patented  1668 

OF  the  nine  county-seats  of  the  Eastern  Shore.  Princess  Anne  seems 
to  lead  in  the  number  of  existing  historical  places.  In  fact,  Somer- 
set, which  is  the  third  oldest  county  of  our  peninsula,  is  rich  in  history. 
This  may  be  attributed  to  its  geographical  location,  being  our  southern- 
most county,  into  which  many  of  the  early  settlers  came  from  Virginia. 

East  of  Princess  Anne,  and  just  outside  of  the  corporate  limits  of 
this  picturesque  town,  is  "Beechwood,"  the  home  of  the  late  Hon. 
Levin  Lyttleton  Waters. 

After  leaving  Princess  Anne  on  a  north-bound  train,  a  forest  of 
stately  oak  and  beech  trees  is  passed,  through  which  a  winding  road 
is  seen,  leading  to  the  homestead  of  the  Waters  family,  and  which 
has  been  their  ancestral  home  for  over  200  years  in  Somerset  County. 

Under  the  name  of  "Manlove's  Discovery,"  George  Manlove  pat- 
ented "Beechwood"  in  1668.  Robert  Elzey,  the  father  of  Anne  Glas- 
gow Elzey,  and  from  whom  she  inherited  the  property,  purchased  the 
estate  from  George  Manlove  early  in  the  eighteenth  century,  and  it 
has  been  held  in  the  Waters  family  by  direct  inheritance  ever  since. 



"Beechwood"'  takes  its  name  from  the  numerous  beech  trees  sur- 
rounding the  spacious  lawn  and  mansion  house.  Under  some  of  these 
trees  in  the  old  family  burying  ground  lie  the  remains  of  some  of  its 
former  owners,  their  last  resting-place  being  marked  by  marble  slabs, 
shown  by  the  picture  at  the  end  of  this  sketch. 

The  Waters  family  is  closely  related  to  many  of  the  former  owners 
of  other  colonial  estates  in  Somerset  County.  Levin  Lyttleton  Waters 
married  Lucretia  Jones,  a  daughter  of  Col.  Arnold  Elzey  Jones,  of 
"Elmwood,"  on  the  Manokin  River,  and  a  sister  of  Gen.  Arnold  Elzey 
of  the  Confederate  Army.  Mrs.  Waters'  mother  was  Anne  Wilson 
Jackson,  a  daughter  of  Henry  Jackson,  who  owned  and  built 
the  colonial  mansion  on  the  "Workington"  estate.  Henry  Jackson 
also  owned  and  built  the  "Beckford"  mansion.  Mrs.  Waters  was 
related  to  the  Wilsons  and  Elzeys,  former  owners  of  the  "Westover" 
and  "Almodington"  estates.  "Westover"  adjoins  "Workington,"  and 
is  located  on  Back  Creek,  a  tributary  of  the  Manokin  River,  and  is 
now  owned  by  Western  Starr.  "Almodington"  is  situated  on  the 
Manokin  River  and  adjoins  "Elmwood."  These  homesteads  face 
"Clifton,"  which  is  located  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river. 

Two  surviving  brothers  and  two  sisters  inherited  "Beech wood," 
Arnold  Elzey  Waters  and  Mrs.  William  C.  Hart,  of  Baltimore  City, 
and  Miss  Emily  Rebecca  Waters  and  Henry  Jackson  Waters,  of 
Princess  Anne. 



Surveyed  ib/q 

THE  records  of  the  Land  Office  of  Maryland,  in  Annapolis,  show 
that  the  tract  of  land  called  "Beckford"  was  surveyed  in  Novem- 
ber, 167Q,  in  the  name  of  Col.  William  Stevens,  and  that  the  certifi- 
cate of  survey  was  assigned  by  him  to  Edmund  Howard,  and  that  a 
patent  was  issued  to  Howard  in  November,  1681.  In  1697,  Edmund 
Howard  conveyed  the  plantation  to  Peter  Dent,  who  built  a  dwelling 
house  upon  it  where  he  resided  for  some  time.  Peter  Dent  was  a  man 
of  distinction  in  his  time,  and  was  Clerk  of  the  Somerset  County  Court 
and  also  Attorney-General  of  the  Province  of  Maryland.  By  his  will, 
executed  in  17 10,  he  devised  this  property  to  his  wife,  Jeane  Pitman 
Dent,  and  his  daughter,  Rebecca  Dent.  Rebecca  Dent  married  an 
Anderson,  and  her  son,  John  Anderson,  inherited  the  property,  and  in 
1 77 1  conveyed  it  to  Henry  Jackson,  a  merchant  and  planter  of  large 
means,  who  built  the  brick  mansion  now  standing  in  an  excellent 
state  of  preservation.  Under  the  will  of  Henry  Jackson,  who  died  in 
1794,  "Beckford"  passed  to  his  son,  George  Wilson  Jackson,  and  he 
in  1803  conveyed  it  to  his  brother-in-law,  John  Dennis. 



John  Dennis  was  a  Representative  from  the  Eighth  Maryland 
District  in  the  House  of  Representatives  in  the  Sixth  Congress,  1801, 
during  the  contest  for  the  Presidency  of  the  United  States  between 
Thomas  Jefferson  and  Aaron  Burr.  He  served  in  five  other  Congresses 
and  died  in  1807,  and  under  the  terms  of  his  will  this  property  passed 
to  his  son,  Robert  Jackson  Dennis,  who  sold  it  to  his  brother,  John 
Dennis,  in  1831.  John  Dennis,  the  second,  was  also  a  member  of 
the  House  of  Representatives,  for  four  years,  and  died  in  1859.  His 
family  continued  to  reside  on  the  property  until  1886,  when  it  was 
sold  under  a  decree  of  the  Circuit  Court  for  Somerset  County. 

That  part  of  the  farm  upon  which  the  dwelling  and  other  buildings 
stand  was  purchased  by  H.  Fillmore  Lankford,  who  has  since  resided 
there.  The  house  stands  upon  the  crest  of  the  slope  rising  from  the 
eastern  bank  of  the  Manokin  River  and  faces  the  town  of  Princess 
Anne.  It  is  a  two-story  brick  structure  of  colonial  design  and  was 
erected  in  1776.  The  spacious  rooms  of  this  mansion  are  well  lighted 
by  numerous  large  and  deep-seated  windows.  The  massive  doors  with 
their  quaint  locks  and  bars  bespeak  the  customs  and  manners  of  an 
age  long  since  passed.  It  is  surrounded  by  a  most  beautiful  lawn 
covering  an  area  of  five  acres  and  is  approached  by  a  long,  well- 
shaded  lane  which  leads  from  Beckford  Avenue  to  the  river  bank. 
An  immense  grove  of  shade  and  nut  trees,  some  of  which  are  more 
than  a  century  old,  covers  the  lawn.  One  of  these  trees,  a  pecan, 
shades  the  ground  over  an  area  of  120  feet. 

To  "Beckford"  more  than  to  any  other  place  in  this  delightful 
Eastern  Shore  town  belongs  the  honor  of  keeping  alive  colonial  tradi- 
tions and  customs.  Here  have  been  entertained  men  of  culture  and 
distinction,  men  of  political  fame  and  men  of  letters.  All  have  come 
and  gone  realizing  the  truly  genuine  welcome  of  the  host  and  hostess. 


Built  about  1700 

COMING  with  Governor  Leonard  Calvert  and  his  "Pilgrims"  on 
their  voyage  across  the  Atlantic  in  the  Ark  and  the  Dove  to  estab- 
lish the  Province  of  Maryland  was  Randall  Revell,  it  is  said.  He  was 
called  upon  to  testify  at  a  court  held  in  Accomac  in  Virginia  in  1634, 
giving  his  age  at  that  time  as  twenty-one  years.  In  1662  Randall 
Revell  appears  as  one  of  the  Commissioners  for  the  "Eastern  Shore" 
as  the  territory  south  of  the  Choptank  and  east  of  the  Chesapeake 
was  then  called.  His  name  does  not  appear  again  in  the  commissions, 
but  it  is  said  that  he  was  a  Burgess  in  1666  when  Somerset  was  created 
a  county  of  the  Province.  In  October,  1665,  he  was  granted  "Revell's 
Grove,"  a  tract  of  1,500  acres  of  land,  and  while  he  may  have  held 
land  on  the  Virginia  peninsula  prior  to  this,  it  is  the  first  record  of 
his  being  granted  land  in  Maryland. 

On  this  tract  of  land  it  is  said  that  he  built  his  manor  house, 
"Clifton,"  which  stood  on  the  site  now  occupied  by  the  present  house, 
which  was  built  by  his  son,  Randolph  Revell,  about  1700.  The  house 
overlooks   the   beautiful  Manokin  River,  which   leads  to  Princess 



Anne,  and  is  about  half  a  mile  from  where  the  river  branches.  It  is 
on  one  of  the  few  hills  in  that  section  of  Somerset  County,  which 
rises  to  about  forty  feet  above  high  water.  From  this  old  house  the 
lawn  slopes  gradually  to  the  river,  about  one  hundred  yards  distant. 
From  the  house  a  beautiful  view  of  the  Manokin  River  and  the  sur- 
rounding country  is  afforded.  The  house  is  built  entirely  of  the  type 
of  English  brick  so  common  in  colonial  times  and  is  a  gem  of  colonial 
architecture  embodying  all  the  art  known  to  the  builders  of  the  time. 

In  addition  to  this  property  Randolph  Revell  was  the  owner  of 
"Arracoco,"  2,800  acres,  and  "Double  Purchase,"  3,000  acres,  which 
were  surveyed  for  him  on  the  iqth  of  November,  167Q.  With  the 
exception  of  Col.  William  Stevens,  to  whom  was  granted  over  20,000 
acres,  Randolph  Revell  was  the  largest  landowner  at  that  time  in 
Somerset  County.    He  owned  in  1679  over  7,000  acres. 

"It  would  appear,"  writes  one  familiar  with  this  family,  "that  after 
a  time  the  Revells  played  in  hard  luck  and  were  forced  to  sell  their 
property  and  take  property  of  less  value  in  Somerset.  However,  until 
very  recent  years  the  Revells  have  been  large  landholders  in  the 
county  and  have  always  taken  a  prominent  part  in  public  affairs. 
Some  of  the  descendants  still  own  land  here.  "Clifton"  is  now  the  prop- 
erty of  W.  F.  Pendleton,  who  makes  his  home  there." 

Not  far  from  "Clifton"  once  stood  a  court  house  that  was  the 
seat  of  justice  for  Somerset.  The  foundation  of  the  old  building  is, 
due  to  the  subsidence  of  the  land,  now  entirely  under  water  except 
at  very  low  tide. 



AS  historically  appears  to  have  been  the  custom  in  the  earliest 
.  days  of  England,  when  knights  of  the  shire  were  by  royal  writ 
first  summoned  to  Parliament  and  the  various  counties  and  shires 
were  subsequently  laid  out  and  defined  by  exact  boundaries,  so  the 
County  of  Dorchester  and  most  of  the  earlier-formed  counties  of  the 
Province  of  Maryland  seem  to  have  been  called  into  existence  by 
writ  issued  by  the  Governor  and  his  Council,  then  sitting  at  old  St. 
Mary's  in  Southern  Maryland,  directing  the  Sheriff  named  in  the 
writ  to  hold  an  election  for  the  election  of  Delegates  to  the  General 
Assembly,  in  the  county  named  in  the  writ,  without  any  previous 
precise  territorial  definition  of  the  county  thus  designated. 

Thus  Dorchester  County  appears  to  have  been  summoned  into 
being  by  a  writ  issued  by  Governor  Charles  Calvert  and  his  Council 
on  February  4,  i66q,  directing  the  Sheriff  of  the  county  to  hold  an 
election  for  delegates  from  that  county  to  attend  the  General  Assem- 
bly of  the  Province  on  the  following  13th  day  of  April,  at  the  then 
capital  of  Maryland,  St.  Mary's,  in  St.  Mary's  County.  There  would 
seem  to  have  been  some  kind  of  government  already  established  in 
the  locality,  as  the  writ  was  addressed  to  "Raymond  Staplefort, 
Sheriff  of  Dorchester  County,"  but  no  record  of  the  same  appears. 
At  the  session  of  the  General  Assembly  thus  called,  on  May  6,  i66q, 
eight  commissioners  were  appointed  to  govern  the  county  in  all  mat- 
ters administrative,  civil  and  criminal,  subject  only  to  the  Governor 
and  Council  for  the  Province.  Specifically  were  they  authorized  and 
enjoined  to  inquire  into  "all  manner  of  felonies,  witchcraft,  enchant- 
ments, sorceries,  magic  arts,"  etc.,  in  the  county;  arrest  the  guilty 
and  send  them  to  St.  Mary's  for  trial,  the  commissioners  not  being 
given  powers  of  life  and  death. 

Dorchester  was  named  after  Sir  Edward  Sackville,  fourth  Earl  of 

[  68  ] 


Dorset,  a  distinguished  nobleman  and  statesman  in  the  reigns  of 
James  I  and  Charles  I,  Kings  of  England.  He  was  a  favorite  of  the 
latter  king,  as  well  as  of  his  consort,  Henrietta  Maria,  after  whom 
Maryland  was  named,  and  served  as  Lord  Chamberlain  to  the  queen. 
It  is  not  a  rash  conjecture  that  one  of  the  largest  counties  of  Mary- 
land may  have  been  so  named  for  him  because  of  this  close  friendship 
with  the  queen.  The  Earl  of  Dorset  was  not  only  an  influential  states- 
man and  counselor  to  the  king,  but  he  is  described  by  Clarendon  as 
"beautiful,  graceful  and  vigorous;  his  wit,  pleasant,  sparkling  and 
sublime.  The  vices  he  had  were  of  the  age,  which  he  was  not  stubborn 
enough  to  condemn  or  resist."  Another  writer  says  of  him :  "He  was 
an  able  speaker  and  on  the  whole  a  moderate  politician,  combining  a 
strong  respect  for  the  royal  prerogative  with  an  attachment  to  the 
Protestant  cause  and  the  liberties  of  Parliament." 

Prior  to  this  time  Dorchester  formed  part  of  Somerset  County, 
being  the  first  child  of  that  county,  as  was  Talbot  of  Kent  County; 
Kent  and  Somerset,  divided  by  the  Great  Choptank  River,  constitut- 
ing the  original  Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland,  and  extending  from  the 
fortieth  degree  of  north  latitude  to  the  Virginia  line  and  from  the 
Chesapeake  Bay  to  Delaware  Bay  and  the  Atlantic  Ocean.  After 
much  dispute,  what  is  now  known  as  the  State  of  Delaware  was 
removed  from  under  Maryland  jurisdiction,  and  after  being  sepa- 
rated from  Somerset,  Dorchester  County  was  bounded  by  the  Great 
Choptank  River  on  the  north  and  northeast,  by  the  Delaware  line 
on  the  east,  by  Nanticoke  River  on  the  south,  and  the  Chesapeake 
Bay  on  the  west  and  northwest.  It  embraced  the  larger  part  of  what 
is  now  known  as  Caroline  County  until  in  1773  that  county  was 
created  out  of  parts  of  Dorchester  and  Queen  Anne's  Counties.  Since 
this  separation  Dorchester  has  contained  618  square  miles,  being  the 
largest  county  on  the  Eastern  Shore  in  area,  and  the  fourth  largest  in 
the  State.  Colonists  from  the  western  side  of  the  Chesapeake  were 
attracted  by  the  low-lying  shores  on  the  Choptank  River  and  in  the 
lower  section  of  Dorchester  County,  and  quite  a  large  area  of  land 
had  been  surveyed  and  taken  up  in  these  localities  as  early  as  1659. 
More  than  a  hundred  settlers  are  shown  from  the  rent  rolls  of  that 
period  to  have  taken  up  their  residence  in  the  territory  which  in  i  66q 
became  Dorchester  County,  and  it  is  estimated  that  the  population 



numbered  at  least  500  inhabitants.  By  the  last  census,  (iqio),  the 
population  was  given  as  28,669,  thus  making  Dorchester  ninth  in 
numbers  in  the  State,  though  still  the  first  on  the  eastern  side  of 
the  bay. 

On  its  western  side  the  county  was  and  is  guarded  against  the 
turbulent  waters  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  by  a  string  of  beautiful  and 
most  fertile  islands;  cotton,  tobacco,  figs,  pecans,  etc.,  denizens  of  a 
more  southern  clime,  flourishing  luxuriantly  in  early  days  side  by 
side  with  the  cereal  crops — such  is  the  tempered  and  salubrious  cli- 
mate— but  these  islands  have  in  larger  part  been  washed  away  by 
storms  and  the  tides  of  the  bay,  and  they  seem  destined  to  final 
extinction  as  the  submergence  still  progresses  and  at  an  even  accel- 
erated rate  within  the  last  fifty  years.  By  the  operation  of  seismic 
forces  the  mainland  within  this  fringe  of  islands,  like  the  islands 
themselves,  appears  upon  all  its  bay  frontage  to  be  gradually  but 
steadily  subsiding,  extensive  areas  of  marsh  land,  inhabited  by  fur- 
bearing  animals  alone,  now  appearing  where  prosperous  corn  and 
tobacco  fields  were  cultivated  by  the  early  colonists.  This  is  not 
only  known  by  tradition  and  the  experience  of  the  last  fifty  or 
sixty  years,  but  is  demonstrated  by  the  existence  of  immense  stumps 
of  oak  and  poplar  trees,  from  three  to  five  feet  in  diameter,  found 
in  these  marshes  several  feet  below  the  tides,  high  or  low,  and  which 
indicate  a  subsidence  of  at  least  three  or  four  feet  within  the  last 
200  years. 

In  1684  an  Act  of  the  General  Assembly  was  passed  to  locate  a 
town,  to  be  called  Cambridge,  on  the  south  side  of  the  Great  Chop- 
tank  River,  and  in  1686  an  act  was  passed  providing  for  the  erection 
of  a  court  house  and  jail  in  the  new  town,  which  from  that  time 
became  the  county-seat,  the  same  having  been  until  then  migratory, 
but  it  was  not  until  1745  that  the  village  was  incorporated.  "Village," 
yes,  but  at  that  time  it  had  a  slightly  larger  population  than  "Balti- 
more Town,"  as  indicated  by  the  number  of  dwellings  appearing  in 
the  old-time  sketches  of  the  two  towns.  The  major  part  of  the  ancient 
records  of  the  county  were  consumed  when  the  colonial  court  house 
was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1851,  not  a  vestige  of  the  record  of  proceed- 
ings of  the  original  commissioner  government  and  of  the  "county 
court"  government,  which  followed  it  after  the  Revolution,  having 



been  saved.  In  1692  the  vestry  of  Great  Choptank  Parish  was 
authorized  to  use  this  court  house  as  a  place  of  worship  until  a  church 
should  be  built. 

Having  religious  toleration  as  one  of  the  fundamental  principles 
in  its  charter,  it  is  not  surprising  that  Maryland  almost  from  the  very 
beginning  was  a  religious  center  where  people  of  any  religious  faith, 
or  of  no  religious  faith,  could  meet  on  common  ground  upon  terms  of 
equality.  As  early  as  1629  we  are  informed  that  regular  services  were 
held  on  Kent  Island,  and  religious  worship  seems  to  have  spread 
gradually,  but  steadily,  to  other  parts  of  the  Eastern  Shore,  this 
gradual  extension  undoubtedly  being  caused  by  the  sparsity  of  the 
population  and  the  inconvenient  methods  of  travel  and  intercourse. 
While  information  as  to  religious  activities  of  the  ante-Revolutionary 
period  seems  to  be  lacking,  yet  we  know  that  during  and  after  the 
Revolution  Dorchester  County  became  a  center  for  religious  dis- 
cussion. During  and  at  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War,  Francis 
Asbury,  Freeborn  Garrettson  and  other  famous  missionaries  of  the 
Wesleyan  Methodist  Church  repeatedly  visited  Dorchester,  and  a 
great  religious  wave  swept  over  the  county.  A  large  proportion  of 
the  inhabitants  attached  themselves  to  that  organization,  and  the 
followers  of  Methodism  largely  predominate  in  Dorchester  County 
today.  Mr.  Garrettson  was  on  one  occasion,  in  1780,  confined  in  the 
old  jail  in  Locust  Street,  in  Cambridge,  (which,  as  a  stable,  stood 
until  pulled  down  a  few  years  ago),  but,  tradition  to  the  contrary 
notwithstanding,  his  arrest  seems  to  have  been  more  attributable  to 
his  Toryism  than  to  religious  persecution.  In  1777  we  are  told  that 
he  refused  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  on  conscientious  grounds,  and 
was  told  peremptorily  that  he  must  take  such  oath,  leave  the  State 
or  go  to  jail.  In  spite  of  these  admonitions  he  continued  to  preach, 
though  frequently  subjected  to  harsh  treatment,  and  was  the  object 
of  suspicion  which  finally  led  to  his  arrest  and  imprisonment  under 
circumstances  exciting  in  their  details.  George  Fox,  the  celebrated 
Quaker  preacher,  also  appeared,  the  Cliffs  of  Calvert  and  the  banks 
of  the  Choptank  being  rallying  points  where  with  rude  but  powerful 
eloquence  he  preached  the  Gospel  to  his  audience  of  aborigines  and 
white  settlers,  the  heir  to  the  Province  on  one  of  these  occasions  being 
present  as  a  member  of  the  congregation. 



In  1642  it  is  said  that  there  was  not  one  Protestant  clergyman  in 
Maryland,  but  fifty  years  later,  in  i6q2,  the  Church  of  England 
became  by  law  the  established  church  of  the  Province.  Dorchester 
County  was  divided  into  two  parishes.  Great  Choptank  Parish  and 
Dorchester  Parish,  a  division  which  remains  until  the  present  day. 
So  far  as  can  be  ascertained,  four  small  churches  were  established  by 
the  Church  of  England  in  the  territory  of  the  county,  and  one  chapel 
of  the  Church  of  Rome  in  the  years  prior  to  and  shortly  following  the 
Revolution.  One  of  these  Protestant  Episcopal  churches,  (as  they 
have  been  styled  since  the  separation  of  the  colonies  from  Great 
Britain),  built  during  the  reign  of  William  and  Mary,  and  located  at 
Church  Creek,  seven  miles  from  Cambridge,  stands  intact  to  the 
present  day,  and  is  one  of  the  oldest,  if  not  the  very  oldest,  of  the 
original  church  edifices  of  Maryland  in  existence. 

Dorchester  County  was  intensely  and  enthusiastically  devoted  to 
the  Revolutionary  cause  and  sent  her  quota  of  troops  to  the  "Mary- 
land Line"  which  played  so  heroic  a  part  in  the  great  War  of  Indepen- 
dence. To  speak  of  the  individuals  who  were  conspicuous  in  these 
Revolutionary  struggles  would  be  beyond  the  scope  of  an  article 
which  is  designed  to  be  impersonal  in  its  nature,  but  it  is  sufficient  to 
say  that  at  every  call  of  the  State  for  troops  Dorchester  promptly 

The  development  and  growth  of  a  people  are  affected  in  a  great 
degree  by  the  vocations  they  pursue,  and  these  vocations  are  largely 
influenced  by  the  physical  characteristics  of  the  territory  in  which 
they  build  their  homes.  The  people  of  Dorchester  appear  from  the 
earliest  times  to  have  very  largely  followed  the  water,  lying  as  the 
county  does  between  the  Chesapeake  Bay  on  one  side  and  the  Great 
Choptank  River  on  the  other;  the  river  being  over  two  miles  wide, 
and  until  after  it  passes  Dorchester  toward  its  source  in  Delaware 
more  properly  an  arm  of  the  bay  than  a  river.  Besides  this  it  is  pene- 
trated by  a  number  of  navigable  rivers  and  creeks,  and  like  most 
populations  everywhere  so  situated,  the  inhabitants  seem  to  have  been 
from  the  beginning  a  sturdy,  independent  but  peaceable  people,  living 
on  excellent  terms  with  the  Indians  in  their  midst  as  well  as  with 
themselves  and  neighbors.  The  life  of  the  people  was  a  country  life 
and  little  has  come  down  to  us  concerning  their  peaceful  existence.    If 




the  annals  of  a  happy  people  are  meager,  then  we  may  infer  that  the 
people  of  early  Dorchester  lived  happy  and  contented,  and  we  may 
surmise  that  their  life  was  much  of  that  character  described  by  John- 
son in  his  book  on  "Old  Maryland  Manors,"  where  he  says: 

The  first  generation  of  Maryland  planters  led  that  sort  of  hand-to- 
mouth,  happy-go-lucky  existence  that  marked  the  beginning  of  all  the 
colonies.  Until  means  became  adapted  to  ends,  but  little  comfort  and 
still  less  culture  were  to  be  found.  Many  of  the  earliest  settlers  of  high 
consideration  made  their  cross-mark  on  titles,  deeds  and  conveyances. 
Their  ignorance,  however,  was  the  knowledge  of  the  class  from  which  the 
best  born  of  them  sprang — the  English  country  gentry  of  the  seventeenth 

In  those  early  days  the  growth  of  tobacco  and  corn  was  the  prin- 
cipal occupation  of  the  owners  of  the  land.  These  were  mostly  farmers 
as  distinguished  from  planters,  most  of  the  grants  being  of  small  acre- 
age as  compared  with  the  grants  in  the  sister  Colony  of  Virginia,  and 
of  the  few  large  grants  most  of  them  became  largely  subdivided  long 
before  the  Revolution.  From  Cambridge  to  the  bay  shore  the  soil  is 
a  stiff,  white  clay,  while  above  the  town  it  is  lighter  until  it  becomes 
extremely  sandy  as  it  approaches  the  Delaware  line.  About  three- 
fourths  of  the  county  is  perfectly  flat,  without  an  elevation  upon  it, 
while  the  remainder  is  slightly  undulating  in  character. 

Dorchester  County  has  sent  seven  of  her  sons  to  Annapolis  as 
Governors  of  Maryland,  besides  a  long  array  of  distinguished  men  to 
the  service  of  the  government  of  the  Union,  but  as  these  were  all 
post-Revolutionary  in  their  political  and  military  careers,  simply  this 
reference  is  made  to  them,  as  the  object  of  this  work,  as  I  understand 
it,  is  purely  colonial  in  scope  and  limited  to  the  early  records  of  the 
several  counties  of  the  Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland. 



Built  about  1740 

THIS  old  home  takes  its  name,  presumably,  from  the  famous  War- 
wick Castle  in  England,  and  is  situated  at  the  picturesque  junction 
of  Secretary  Creek  with  the  Choptank  River,  about  a  mile  from  the 
quaint  little  village  of  Secretary  in  upper  Dorchester.  The  history 
of  ''Warwick  Manor"  is  almost  as  old  as  the  history  of  Dorchester 
County  itself,  being  one  of  the  first  manors  granted  in  the  county. 
This  estate,  the  ancestral  home  of  the  Hooper  family  of  Maryland,  is 
particularly  interesting,  not  only  because  of  its  antiquity  but  as  hav- 
ing been  the  home  of  men  whose  valuable  services  to  the  State  are  a 
brilliant  part  of  its  history.  At  one  time  this  land  was  the  property 
of  Henry  Sewall,  Secretary  of  the  Province  of  Maryland. 

Before  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  the  estate  was  bought 
by  Col.  Henry  Hooper,  whose  ancestors  had  come,  in  the  last  half  of 
the  preceding  century,  from  Southern  Maryland,  renamed  ''Warwick 
Fort  Manor,"  and  built  the  present  house.  Colonel  Hooper  was 
one  of  the  leading  men  in  Maryland  at  that  time.    His  son,  also 



named  Henry  Hooper,  who  inherited  the  property,  became  even 
more  prominent  in  public  affairs.  He  took  an  active  part  in  the 
struggle  for  independence,  was  a  member  of  the  Association  of  Free- 
men, a  delegate  to  the  first  Maryland  Provincial  Convention  and  a 
member  of  the  Council  of  Safety.  In  1776  he  was  made  brigadier- 
general  of  militia  of  the  lower  half  of  the  Eastern  Shore. 

Passing  at  the  death  of  General  Hooper,  in  1790,  into  the  hands  of 
his  son,  Henry,  the  estate  was  divided  by  him  and  sold  in  different 
parcels.  In  the  course  of  time  it  passed  entirely  out  of  the  hands  of 
the  family,  and  has  since  had  a  number  of  owners,  among  whom  was 
Richard  Hughlett,  of  the  well-known  Hughlett  family  of  Talbot 
County,  and  John  Webster,  the  largest  landowner  and  one  of  the 
wealthiest  men  of  his  day  in  Dorchester.  He  devised  it  to  Mrs. 
Martina  Hurst,  of  Baltimore.  In  the  last  few  years  it  has  met  the 
fate  of  so  many  of  these  old  places,  coming  to  have  only  a  commercial 

At  the  time  '^Warwick  Fort  Manor  House"  was  built  the  Choptank 
Indians  were  roaming  the  forests  that  surrounded  it.  Colonel  Hooper 
evidently  recognized  the  necessity  for  providing  adequate  defense 
against  possible  attacks  of  these  hostile  neighbors.  The  walls,  built 
of  English  brick,  are  two  feet  in  thickness;  the  massive  doors,  made 
of  diagonal  timber,  have  hinges  four  feet  in  length,  and  stout  iron  bars 
on  the  inside.  No  expense  was  spared  in  making  the  interior  attrac- 
tive. The  rooms  were  finished  in  rosewood  and  mahogany,  while  the 
paneled  walls,  handsome  mantels  and  deep  window-seats  are  fine 
specimens  of  colonial  architecture.  The  most  striking  feature  of  the 
house,  however,  is  the  hall  with  its  beautiful  winding  stairway  fin- 
ished with  mahogany  rail  and  banisters.  Although  it  has  echoed  to  the 
tread  of  the  belles  and  beaux  of  two  centuries  its  beauty  is  unimpaired. 

Like  most  of  these  old  places  ''Warwick  Fort  Manor  House"  has  a 
"haunted  chamber"  and  traditions  of  buried  treasure.  Linked  as  it  is 
with  the  names  of  men  who  have  helped  to  make  Maryland  history, 
surrounded  by  the  halo  of  romance  of  "ye  olden  time,"  its  fate  is  now 
in  the  balance,  dependent  upon  its  future  owners. 



STANDING  in  what  is  now  the  center  of  the  business  section  of 
Cambridge,  the  "Old  Dorchester  House"  is  of  peculiar  interest 
to  the  people  of  the  county  because  of  its  connection  with  past  his- 
torical events.  Available  sources  of  information  indicate  that  it  was 
erected  about  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  the  name  of  its 
constructor  being  perpetuated  by  Muir  Street.  The  interior  evidences 
the  cultivated  taste  of  its  builder.  It  is  paneled  throughout,  orna- 
mented with  hand  carving  and  colonial  mantels,  has  deep  window- 
seats  and  fireplaces  in  nearly  every  room. 

This  house  was  once  the  home  of  Thomas  Nevitt,  and  later  of 
Gustavus  Scott,  of  the  Continental  Congress,  and  of  Dr.  Joseph  Muse. 
Under  Dr.  Thomas  White,  it  became  a  hotel,  and  on  its  spacious  lawn 
old-time  rallies  of  the  Democrats  were  held.  A  week-long  discussion 
with  the  Whigs  on  the  work  of  the  Constitutional  Convention  of  1850, 
in  which  noted  local  orators  of  both  sides  appeared,  is  a  feature  of  the 
political  history  of  the  "Dorchester  House."  John  Bradshaw  also 
used  it  as  a  hotel,  and  then  it  was  long  occupied  by  David  Straughn. 


Built  1706-10 

AT  the  intersection  of  the  Choptank  River  and  Cambridge  Creek, 
i\  taking  its  name  because  of  this  situation,  stands  the  justly  famous 
"The  Point" — the  oldest  remaining  dwelling  of  the  original  houses  of 
Cambridge.  Its  claims  to  distinction  are  not  entirely  confined,  how- 
ever, to  its  antiquity,  as  it  has  been  the  home  of  men  whose  illustrious 
names  appear  with  unusual  prominence  upon  the  annals  of  the  county 
and  State. 

The  larger  part  of  the  house  was  built  between  1706  and  17 10  by 
Col.  John  Kirk,  then  Lord  Baltimore's  agent  for  Dorchester  County. 
Two  additional  rooms  were  built  by  Robert  Goldsborough  about 
1770,  and  some  years  later — 1796 — when  it  became  the  property  of 
James  Steele,  the  handsome  addition  of  two  large  and  beautiful  rooms 
and  a  large  square  hall  was  made  by  him.  Almost  a  century  later  Dr. 
William  R.  Hayward  further  improved  the  house  by  the  addition  of 
a  library,  while  modern  conveniences  have  been  supplied  in  recent 
years.  All  of  these  improvements  were  made,  however,  without 
departing  from  the  architectural  style  of  the  oldest  part  of  the  dwell- 



ing.  This  part,  though  a  wooden  structure,  is  built  of  such  solid 
timber  that  it  will  probably  last  longer  than  many  of  the  houses 
erected  in  the  last  quarter  of  a  century. 

The  interior  of  this  fine  old  home  reflects  the  highly  cultured 
taste  of  its  respective  owners.  Most  of  the  rooms  are  heavily  paneled, 
with  deep  windows,  brass-mounted  doors,  colonial  mantels  and  quaint 
nooks  and  corners.  A  handsome  mahogany  stairway  rises  from  the  hall, 
and  antique  furniture  makes  "The  Point"  a  veritable  treasure  house. 

"The  Point"  was  inherited  from  Col.  John  Kirk  by  his  only 
daughter,  who  married  the  Rev.  Thomas  Howell,  the  first  rector  of 
the  historic  church  at  Church  Creek  and  the  first  Episcopal  church 
in  Cambridge.  He  planted  a  double  row  of  cedars  around  the  two- 
acre  grounds  of  "The  Point"  and  a  cross  of  cedars  in  the  center. 
When  these  grew  up,  in  the  course  of  years,  they  formed  a  gigantic 
cross,  the  trees  measuring  three  feet  in  diameter.  Unfortunately, 
they  have  been  the  special  mark  of  lightning,  and  only  the  stumps 
remain.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Howell  sold  the  property  to  Mr.  Orrell,  a 
merchant,  from  whose  heirs  it  was  purchased  by  Charles  Golds- 
borough,  Clerk  of  the  Circuit  Court,  who,  at  his  death,  bequeathed  it 
to  one  of  his  sons,  the  talented  Robert  Goldsborough,  who  married 
Sarah  Yerbury,  of  England.  Robert  Goldsborough,  a  famous  lawyer, 
was  a  member  of  the  Continental  Congress  and  of  the  Council  of 
Safety;  also  a  member  of  the  Convention  of  the  Province  of  Mary- 
land, held  in  Annapolis  in  1776.  when  he  is  said  to  have  been  largely 
instrumental  in  framing  the  first  Maryland  Constitution. 

His  son,  William  Goldsborough,  became  the  next  owner  of  "The 
Point,"  from  whom  it  was  purchased  in  1796  by  James  Steele,  the 
ancestor  of  the  Steeles  of  Dorchester  and  Anne  Arundel  counties.  One 
of  his  sons,  Henry  Maynadier  Steele,  married  the  daughter  of  Francis 
Scott  Key,  and  to  him  his  father  bequeathed  "The  Point."  Removing 
to  Anne  Arundel  County,  Mr.  Steele  in  1822  sold  the  place  to  William 
W.  Eccleston,  Register  of  Wills  for  Dorchester.  It  then  passed  to 
his  widow,  who  left  it  to  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Eliza  Hayward,  wife  of 
Dr.  William  R.  Hayward,  Commissioner  of  the  Land  Office  from  1870 
to  1884.  It  has  since  been  owned  by  the  descendants  of  Mrs.  Hay- 
ward, being  the  residence  at  present  of  her  daughter  and  son-in-law. 
Col.  and  Mrs.  Clement  Sulivane. 


Built  Prior  to  i 

VISIBLE  for  miles  to  those  who  travel  the  waters  of  the  Great 
Choptank  River — the  beauty  of  which  river  at  this  point  has  been 
compared  to  that  of  the  Bay  of  Naples — the  estate  of  "Hambrook," 
the  ancestral  home  of  one  branch  of  the  Henry  family,  has  compelled 
the  admiration  of  visitors  to  Cambridge  and  has  been  a  source  of 
pride  to  its  residents.  Most  of  them  cherish  memories  and  traditions 
of  its  wide  lawns,  its  flower  gardens  and  tree-bordered  walks,  its 
cultured  and  distinguished  guests,  and  its  open-hearted  hospitality. 

The  original  tract  of  "Hambrook,"  known  in  the  earliest  records 
as  "Busby,"  included  much  of  the  surrounding  territory,  since  divided 
into  several  places,  and  was  leased  about  1700  from  William  Dorring- 
ton  by  John  Hambrook,  from  whom  it  takes  its  name.  This  lease  was 
shortly  afterward  confirmed  by  deed.  The  destruction  of  old  wills  by 
the  burning  of  the  court  house  has  hampered  the  work  of  tracing  the 
history  of  "Hambrook,"  as  it  has  those  of  most  of  the  places  in  Dor- 
chester. Therefore,  the  next  owner  of  whom  there  is  a  record  was 
Elizabeth  Caile,  who  transferred  it  in  i/qb  to  William  Vans  Murray. 



Later  it  became  the  property  of  Isaac  Steele  and  was  inherited  by 
his  niece,  Catherine  Steele.  In  1812,  when  Catherine  Steele  was  a 
minor,  the  place  was  sold  to  John  Campbell  Henry,  son  of  Governor 
John  Henry,  of  "Weston."  "Weston,"  on  the  Nanticoke,  was  burned 
by  the  British  in  1780. 

Soon  after  his  marriage  to  Miss  Mary  Nevitt  Steele,  daughter  of 
James  Steele,  of  *  The  Point,  "in  1 8 1 2,  Mr.  Henry  took  up  his  residence 
at  "Hambrook,"  where  he  lived  the  life  of  a  country  gentleman, 
dying  in  1 857.  A  large  and  interesting  family  grew  up  at  "Hambrook" 
during  that  time.  The  estate  was  left  by  Mr.  Henry  to  his  son,  Daniel 
Maynadier  Henry,  who  long  devoted  his  talents  to  public  affairs, 
serving  in  both  branches  of  the  State  Legislature  and  for  two  terms — 
Forty-fifth  and  Forty-sixth  Congresses — as  a  member  of  the  House 
of  Representatives. 

Social  life  among  the  residents  of  the  old  estates  of  Dorchester 
and  adjoining  counties  often  resulted  in  closer  union.  Thus  it  was 
that  Daniel  M.  Henry  married  Susan,  only  daughter  of  William 
Goldsborough,  of  "Myrtle  Grove,"  Talbot  County,  they  being  the 
parents  of  Judge  Winder  Laird  Henry,  a  Representative  in  the  Fifty- 
third  Congress,  lately  of  the  bench  of  the  First  Judicial  Circuit  and 
the  Maryland  Public  Service  Commission,  and  President  of  the  East- 
ern Shore  Society. 

"Hambrook"  was  sold  by  the  Henrys  to  Dr.  Edward  S.  Waters,  of 
Baltimore,  who  made  it  his  home  for  a  number  of  years.  Since  then  it 
has  passed  through  several  hands,  it  being  now  owned  and  occupied  by 
Commodore  Slagle,  of  Baltimore.  Tradition  is  responsible  for  the  as- 
sertion that  the  tenant  house  on  the  place  is  part  of  the  original  house — 
a  frame  building  of  the  old  hip-roof  style,  built  by  John  Hambrook. 

The  present  dwelling  was  built  by  Isaac  Steele.  He  died  there  in 
1806.  ''Hambrook"  was  enlarged  and  improved  by  John  Campbell 
Henry,  and  both  the  house  and  the  place  greatly  beautified  and 
adorned  by  Mrs.  Frank  M.  Dick  of  New  York,  who  owned  the  place 
for  some  years.  The  possibility  of  adding  modern  conveniences  and  at 
the  same  time  preserving  the  colonial  features  of  the  building  has 
been  fully  demonstrated.  So  well  has  this  been  done  that,  unlike  so 
many  of  the  old  buildings  which  are  but  relics  of  their  former  glory, 
"Hambrook"  today  is  a  magnificent  home  of  the  colonial  type. 


Built  1730 

SHORTLY  after  the  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes  Monsieur 
Anthony  LeCompte,  a  French  Huguenot  refugee,  fled  to  this  coun- 
try to  escape  the  persecutions  of  the  time.  That  he  was  a  man  of 
importance  and  large  possessions  was  evident,  as  he  brought  with 
him  so  many  retainers  that  it  took  several  ships  to  carry  them.  Land- 
ing first  in  Calvert  County  he  soon  removed  to  Dorchester  and  was 
granted  a  patent  for  a  large  tract  of  land  on  the  Choptank  River, 
eight  miles  from  Cambridge.  The  estate  of  "Castle  Haven"  was  a 
part  of  this  tract  of  land,  but  efforts  to  unearth  something  of  its 
ancient  history  have  been  unavailing. 

In  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century,  however,  "Castle 
Haven"  was  the  residence  of  the  Rev.  James  Kemp,  one  time  rector 
of  Great  Choptank  Parish,  and  afterward  Bishop  of  Maryland.  The 
records  show  that  he  lived  there  for  some  years  prior  to  1818,  at  which 
time  he  sold  the  place  to  Levin  and  Mary  Jones.  It  passed  through 
so  many  hands  after  this,  that  space  will  not  permit  the  mention  of 
all  those  who  have  owned  it. 



It  was  for  some  years  the  summer  home  of  Governor  Thomas 
King  Carroll,  a  native  of  Somerset  County,  then  living  in  Baltimore. 
Among  those  owning  it  in  later  years  was  Wilbur  F.  Jackson.  At  his 
death  it  became  the  property  of  his  widow  and  daughter — the  latter 
the  wife  of  Mayor  James  H.  Preston  of  Baltimore  City.  Oscar  F. 
Turner,  of  Baltimore,  was  the  next  purchaser,  and  several  years  ago  it 
was  bought  by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  A.  Harrison  of  New  York,  who 
now  make  it  their  home. 

Although  there  is  no  definite  proof,  it  is  generally  accepted  that 
the  house  at  "Castle  Haven"  was  built  about  1730.  The  main  build- 
ing is  of  brick,  and  has  been  left  practically  the  same,  though  it  was 
enlarged  by  Mr.  Jackson.  The  rooms  of  the  old  house  are  large  and 
very  beautiful,  having  the  characteristic  colonial  architectural  fea- 
tures. The  library  is  especially  worthy  of  note  and  commands  a 
splendid  view  of  the  river  where,  in  the  old  days,  the  passing  steamers 
put  off  visitors  and  household  supplies  at  the  place. 

Yielding  almost  every  crop,  fruit  and  vegetable  known  on  the 
Eastern  Shore  in  profusion  and  of  the  finest  quality — with  an  abun- 
dance of  oysters,  fish,  and  wild-fowl  at  the  very  doors,  with  huge  old 
trees  and  shrubbery  of  all  kinds  beautifying  the  spacious  lawns; 
nature  has  lavished  her  gifts  on  the  spot,  making  it  an  ideal  place  for 
a  home.  Far  from  the  noisy  haunts  of  men,  reposing  under  the  bright 
sunshine  or  the  softened  radiance  of  the  moonlight — fanned  by  health- 
giving  breezes,  and  breathing  the  spirit  of  elegant  leisure — it  is  indeed, 
as  its  name  suggests,  a  veritable  haven  of  refuge  for  those  "hackney'd 
in  business,  wearied  at  the  oar." 

^  ^  m  m 


Granted  to  Col.  Thomas  Ennalls 

WASHED  by  the  waters  of  the  Choptank  River,  a  few  miles  from 
Cambridge,  and  separated  by  its  extensive  acres  from  the  State 
road  leading  to  the  upper  section  of  Dorchester,  lies  "Eldon,"  one  of 
the  show-places  of  the  county,  and  the  home  for  generations  of  those 
who  have  been  prominent  in  the  social  life  of  their  times. 

The  original  tract  granted  to  Col.  Thomas  Ennalls,  whose  ances- 
tors came  in  the  early  part  of  the  seventeenth  century  to  Dorchester 
from  Virginia,  embraced  what  is  now  "Shoal  Creek"  and  other  adja- 
cent places,  extending  as  far  as  Secretary.  From  the  Ennalls  are 
descended  branches  of  the  Goldsboroughs,  Hoopers,  Bayards,  Steeles, 
Muses,  and  other  influential  families  of  the  Eastern  Shore,  so  that 
"Eldon"  became  associated  in  an  unusual  degree  with  the  affairs  of 
the  county  and  State. 

Its  fame,  however,  was  not  confined  to  this  locality,  as  it  became 
in  later  years,  through  his  marriage  to  Miss  Ennalls,  the  property 
of  one  of  the  Bayards  of  Delaware  whose  distinguished  relatives  were 
frequent  visitors  there  both  during  his  proprietorship  and  after  it 


became  the  property  of  James  Billings  Steele.  At  that  time  3,000 
acres  were  attached  to  the  place. 

James  Billings  Steele  won  for  his  bride  the  daughter  of  Robert 
Goldsborough,  of  "Horn's  Point,"  and  granddaughter  of  Dr.  William 
Smith,  first  president  of  Washington  College  and  first  provost  of  the 
College  of  Philadelphia,  thus  connecting  two  of  the  most  notable 
estates  in  the  county.  When  purchased  by  Dr.  Francis  P.  Phelps  in 
1836  there  were  800  acres  surrounding  the  manor  house.  The  reputa- 
tion of  their  predecessors  for  unbounded  hospitality  was  sustained  by 
Dr.  Phelps  and  his  heirs.  He  was  a  noted  physician,  for  several 
terms  a  member  of  the  House  of  Delegates  and  twice  State  Senator. 
The  handsome  old  manor  house  was  especially  noted  for  the  beauti- 
ful ball-room,  where  the  beauty  and  chivalry  of  the  county  frequently 
gathered  to  "chase  the  glowing  hours  with  flying  feet."  It  was  in  this 
room  that  the  attractive  daughter  of  Dr.  Phelps,  Miss  Annie  Phelps, 
became  the  bride  of  James  Wallace,  a  brilliant  member  of  the  Cam- 
bridge bar,  who  afterward  became  State  Senator,  and  a  colonel  in  the 
Civil  War. 

That  house  met  the  same  fate  as  those  at  "Horn's  Point"  and 
"Weston,"  it  having  burned  to  the  ground — St.  Patrick's  Day,  1846. 
Immediately  thereafter  Dr.  Phelps  erected  upon  the  same  site  the 
commodious  dwelling  of  the  present  day,  its  large  parlors  and  spacious 
halls  being  admirably  suited  for  upholding  the  traditions  of  the  past. 
Surrounded  on  two  sides  by  Hurst  Creek,  known  in  the  earliest 
records  as  "Kitty  Willis  Creek,"  the  lawn  at  "Eldon"  is  unsurpassed 
by  that  of  any  place  in  Dorchester. 

Charles  Goldsborough, of  ''Shoal  Creek,"  (8  January-io  December, 
1 8  iq),  and  John  Henry,  of  "Weston,"  (28  November,  i7q7-i4Novem- 
ber,  1798),  were  two  of  the  seven  Dorchester  Governors,  The  others 
have  been  Thomas  King  Carroll,  (15  January,  1830-13  January, 
183 1);  Thomas  HoUiday  Hicks,  (13  January,  1858-8  January,  1862); 
Henry  Lloyd,  (27  March,  1885-11  January,  1888);  Phillips  Lee 
Goldsborough,  (10  January,  iqi2-i2  January,  1Q16);  Emerson  C. 
Harrington,  from  12  January,  iqi6. 



Built  about  i  760 

IN  the  latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  century,  or  early  in  the 
eighteenth,  William  Murray,  a  cousin  and  ward  of  the  then  chief 
of  the  Clan  Murray  in  Scotland,  arrived  in  Maryland  and  became 
the  owner  of  a  large  tract  of  land  in  Dorchester  known  as  "Ayreshire," 
of  which  the  estate  of  "Glasgow"  is  a  part.  William  Murray  was  the 
grandfather  of  one  of  the  most  illustrious  men  Dorchester  ever  pro- 
duced— ^William  Vans  Murray,  Minister  to  Holland,  (17Q7-1801),  and 
one  of  the  negotiators  of  the  French  Treaty  of  1800.  Born  in  Cam- 
bridge in  1762,  he  studied  law  at  the  Temple  in  London,  began  prac- 
tice at  Cambridge  in  1785,  served  in  the  Second,  Third,  and  Fourth 
Congresses  as  a  Representative,  and  died  at  Cambridge  in  1803,  when 
only  forty-one  years  of  age. 

"Ayreshire"  was  inherited  by  the  sister  of  William  Vans  Murray, 
Henrietta  Murray,  who  married  Dr.  Robertson,  of  Somerset  County, 
but  continued  to  live  at  "Ayreshire."  One  of  the  interesting  features 
of  the  old  house  at  "Glasgow"  today  is  a  window-pane  upon  which 
has  been  scratched,  (evidently  with  a  diamond  ring),  these  lines: 



"Henrietta  R.  Robertson — October  14th,  1827.  The  last  winter  Henry 
is  to  attend  lectures  in  Baltimore."  Incidentally,  it  may  be  men- 
tioned here  that  this  Henry  was  her  son,  who  became  a  distinguished 
clergyman  in  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Church,  settled  in  Alabama, 
and  founded  a  family  which  has  since  become  large  and  influential. 

In  1840  the  estate  of  "Ayreshire"  was  purchased  from  Dr.  Robert- 
son by  Dr.  Robert  F.  Tubman,  a  prominent  physician  of  the  southern 
part  of  the  county.  Some  years  later,  desiring  to  divide  the  property 
between  two  of  his  sons.  Dr.  Tubman,  in  order  to  distinguish  the 
divisions,  called  one  "Glasgow"  and  the  other  "Glenburn."  "Glas- 
gow" was  the  part  of  the  estate  upon  which  the  house  stood,  and  this 
became  the  property  of  Robert  C.  Tubman  and  "Glenburn"  that  of 
Benjamin  Gaither  Tubman.  At  the  time  of  its  purchase  by  Dr. 
Tubman,  the  whole  place  contained  about  800  acres.  At  the  present 
time  there  are  265  acres  attached  to  "Glasgow."  The  growth  of 
Cambridge  in  that  direction  has  greatly  enhanced  the  value  of  the 
property.  In  accordance  with  provisions  made  by  Dr.  Tubman  the 
children  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Robert  C.  Tubman  inherit  the  property 
after  the  death  of  their  parents.  Robert  E.  Tubman,  president  of  the 
Robert  E.  Tubman  Company  of  Baltimore  is  one  of  these  heirs  and 
is  now  in  possession  of  the  home  place. 

"Glasgow"  adjoins  "Hambrook."  Many  handsome  bungalows 
and  "shore"  houses  have  in  recent  years  been  erected  upon  the  beauti- 
ful sites  of  the  "Hambrook"  estate.  The  house  at  "Glasgow,"  from 
all  accounts,  must  have  been  built  prior  to  1760.  It  is  of  brick,  with 
walls  a  foot  thick,  and  the  floors  throughout  are  of  solid  black  wal- 
nut. It  has  massive  doors,  and  the  large  wainscoted  rooms  are 
adorned  with  colonial  mantelpieces  and  deep  windows.  The  house 
contains  sixteen  large  rooms,  and  it  is  an  interesting  fact  that  the 
former  owner,  Robert  C.  Tubman,  and  all  his  children  were  born  in 
the  same  room.  While  modern  conveniences  have  been  added  in  recent 
years,  the  original  house  is  unchanged.  A  boulevard  connecting  the 
town  with  "Hambrook,"  passes  through  the  "Glasgow"  estate.  This 
beautiful  old  country  home  has  been  in  the  Tubman  family  and  con- 
tinuously occupied  by  them  for  a  period  of  nearly  eighty  years. 


Built  about  1680 

IN  the  latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  century  the  English  settlers, 
bringing  with  them  from  the  old  country  their  church  devotion, 
had  arrived  in  sufficient  numbers  on  the  Eastern  Shore  to  necessitate 
the  building  of  places  of  worship.  One  of  the  first  of  these,  the 
original  walls  of  which  are  still  standing,  dating  back  to  about  1680, 
is  situated  in  south  Dorchester,  near  the  little  town  of  Church  Creek. 

Two  centuries  have  elapsed  since  the  doors  of  Trinity  Episcopal 
Church,  familiarly  known  as  "The  Old  Church,"  were  first  opened 
for  divine  service,  and  while  it  has  at  times  fallen  into  a  sad  state  of 
decay,  it  has  always  been  rescued  by  those  who  felt  the  silent  and 
pathetic  appeal  of  its  crumbling  walls. 

The  exact  date  of  its  erection  cannot  be  determined,  owing  to  the 
loss  of  the  earliest  records.  The  building  was  at  first  cruciform  in 
shape,  but  in  the  middle  of  the  nineteenth  century  one  wing  was 
removed,  giving  it  a  curious  architectural  appearance.  At  that  time 
the  interior  was  remodeled,  and  in  the  effort  to  improve  it,  many  of 
its  most  attractive  features  were  destroyed.    The  high-backed  pews, 



the  high  pulpit  with  its  sounding-board,  and  the  gallery  with  steps 
leading  up  from  the  outside  were  all  sacrificed  to  modern  ideas.  At 
the  same  time  the  tiled  floor  was  covered  with  boards.  When  the 
church  was  repaired  in  the  summer  of  1914  it  was  the  desire  of  those 
in  charge  of  the  work  to  restore  the  original  tiles,  but  this  had  to  be 
abandoned  owing  to  the  crumbling  of  the  bricks.  April  17,  1853,  the 
church  was  reconsecrated  by  the  Right  Reverend  Henry  J.  White- 
house,  Bishop  of  Illinois,  and  first  given  the  name  of  Trinity. 
Visitors  to  the  church  are  shown  with  much  pride  a  handsome  red 
velvet  cushion  said  to  have  been  sent  to  it  by  Queen  Anne,  and  upon 
which  she  is  said  to  have  knelt  to  receive  her  crown.  It  is  of  royal 
quality  velvet  and  in  a  perfect  state  of  preservation. 

In  1914  this  historic  and  venerated  church  was  in  imminent  danger 
of  collapsing,  but  a  few  of  those  who  were  deeply  interested  in  its 
preservation  succeeded  in  raising  a  fund  to  put  it  in  perfect  order  so 
that  it  will  now  stand  for  another  half  century,  at  least.  Those  who 
wander  around  the  cemetery  surrounding  the  church  find  an  un- 
written poem  as  perfect  as  Gray's  immortal  "Elegy  in  a  Country 
Churchyard."  It  is  the  resting  place  of  one  of  the  governors  of  the 
State,  Thomas  King  Carroll,  and  there  stands  the  beautiful  monu- 
ment erected  by  a  grateful  people  to  his  son.  Dr.  Thomas  King 
Carroll,  notable  as  being  the  only  one  in  this  section  of  the  country 
erected  to  a  physician  by  the  unsolicited  offerings  of  his  patients 
and  friends.  In  a  far  corner  are  the  graves  of  several  soldiers  of  the 
Revolution,  and  scattered  about  are  the  graves  of  those  who  once 
wore  the  Blue  and  the  Gray. 

)    ■  I 



.,    ,    .,.  ■(■■IF'  , 

^i  i 

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t     .         ^^m 



1 .  *  vHHH| 





Built  about   1725 

UNTIL  1684  Somerset  County  claimed  "Nanticoke  Hundred"  in 
Dorchester.  The  dispute  over  the  territory  was  finally  settled 
by  a  commission,  which  decided  that  the  northeast  branch  of  the 
Nanticoke  River  was  the  boundary  and  not  North-West  Fork. 

One  of  the  most  prominent  families  living  in  this  vicinity  were 
the  Lees,  allied  with  the  distinguished  Lee  family  of  Virginia.  A  tract 
of  2,350  acres,  known  as  "Rehoboth,"  was  patented  to  Capt.  John 
Lee  in  1673,  upon  which  fifty  years  later  was  built  the  quaint  old  brick 
house,  which  is  unchanged  and  in  a  perfect  state  of  preservation  at 
the  present  time. 

[  8g  ] 


Upon  the  death  of  Capt.  John  Lee  the  estate  was  inherited  by 
his  brother.  Col.  Richard  Lee,  of  "Mount  Pleasant,"  Virginia,  who 
had  large  holdings  in  that  State  in  addition  to  this  property.  Dying 
in  1 7 14,  he  devised  the  place  to  his  son,  Philip,  who  then  lived 
in  Prince  George's  County,  Maryland,  and  who  died  in  1 744,  leaving 
to  each  of  his  sons,  Corbin,  John,  George  and  Francis,  and  to  his 
grandson,  Philip  Lee,  portions  of  the  estate. 

Thomas  Lee,  son  of  Richard  Lee  II,  the  father  of  Richard  Henry 
Lee  and  Francis  Lightfoot  Lee,  both  of  whom  were  signers  of  the 
Declaration  of  Independence,  owned  1,300  acres  of  "Rehoboth," 
which  he  left  at  his  death  in  1770  to  his  eldest  son,  and  entailed  it 
on  his  second  and  third  sons.  Thus  Philip  Ludwell  Lee  became  the 
next  owner  of  the  1,300  acres,  but  the  record  of  his  disposition  of  the 
estate  has  been  lost. 

Francis  Lee  was  living  upon  his  share  of  the  original  estate  in  1 745 
when  he  was  a  member  of  the  Assembly  of  Maryland ;  at  his  death  in 
1 749  the  property  passed  to  his  son,  Francis  Leonard  Lee.  The 
land  records  of  Dorchester  County  show  that  Lettice  Corbin  Lee, 
sister  of  Philip,  sold  in  1787  "a  tract  of  land  of  200  acres  called 
'Rehoboth'  "  to  John  Smoot,  which  seems  to  have  ended  the  owner- 
ship of  the  Lees. 

The  next  owner  of  whom  there  is  a  record  was  Major  Frank  Turpin, 
who  was  first  a  captain  in  the  militia  of  Dorchester  County  during 
the  Revolutionary  War,  when  the  house  was  a  rendezvous  for  many 
military  men.  Major  Turpin,  who  died  in  1829,  was  interred  on  the 
estate  which  has  since  been  known  as  the  "Turpin  Place"  and  has  had 
numerous  owners. 

Situated  upon  the  banks  of  the  Nanticoke  River,  the  venerable 
old  house  is  visible  from  both  the  little  towns  of  Eldorado  and  Brook- 
view.  Besides  the  usual  carved  wainscoting,  high  mantelpieces,  and 
deep  windows,  indicative  of  the  colonial  period,  it  has  a  distinctive 
feature  especially  worthy  of  note.  Over  the  mantels  in  the  parlor 
and  dining-room,  built  into  the  walls,  are  panel-paintings,  which  seem 
to  be  reproductions  of  some  magnificent  country  estate  of  the  old  Eng- 
lish type,  and  "thereby  hangs  a  tale"  which,  because  of  its  antiquity, 
will  doubtless  never  be  revealed. 




CECIL  County  was  named  for  Cecilius  Calvert,  the  first  Proprie- 
tary of  the  Province  of  Maryland,  and  was  erected  by  proclama- 
tion the  6th  day  of  June,  1674.  Within  the  bounds  laid  down  in  this 
proclamation  all  of  the  present  County  of  Kent  was  inadvertently 
included.  The  bounds  given  in  the  proclamation  are  as  follows :  "that 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Susquehanough  River  and  so  down  the  eastern 
side  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  to  Swan  Point  and  from  thence  to  Hell 
Point  and  so  up  the  Chester  River  to  the  head  thereof  is  hereby 
erected  into  a  county  and  called  by  the  name  of  Cecil  County."  This 
proclamation  was  met  with  such  a  storm  of  protest  from  the  inhabi- 
tants of  the  lower  part  of  the  present  County  of  Kent  that  the  Proprie- 
tary in  less  than  two  weeks  issued  an  order,  dated  June  iq,  1674, 
giving  back  to  Kent  the  territory  she  had  held  for  so  many  years. 
Within  the  lines  was  part  of  Baltimore  County,  which  at  its  creation 
in  165Q  included  all  of  the  Eastern  Shore  north  of  a  line  in  Kent 
County  drawn  from  about  the  head  of  Fairlee  Creek  to  the  Chester 
River  near  where  Chestertown  now  stands.  Land  records  are  to  be 
found  in  the  Baltimore  City  Record  Office  covering  the  sale  of  lands 
along  the  Sassafras  River,  and  indeed  along  both  sides  of  Worton 
Creek,  prior  to  1674. 

In  the  erection  of  Cecil  County  it  is  quite  possible  that  Cecilius 
Calvert  wished  to  have  a  permanent  monument  bear  his  name.  He 
was  then  getting  to  be  an  old  man  and  had  been  Proprietary  of  the 
Province  for  forty-two  years.  Through  the  most  difficult  situations 
he  had  watched  the  varying  fortunes  of  his  favored  land,  Maryland. 
No  doubt  this  opportunity  to  have  his  name  perpetuated  appealed 
strongly  to  him  and  strange  to  say  he  lived  only  a  year  after  the 
proclamation  erecting  the  county  was  issued.  He  died  November  30, 



In  striking  contrast  to  the  rolling  and  level  lands  of  Kent,  Queen 
Anne's  and  Talbot,  Cecil's  hills  along  the  Susquehanna  furnish  the 
setting  for  as  beautiful  scenery  as  is  to  be  found  along  the  famous 
Hudson  River.  Hills  are  also  to  be  found  along  the  Elk  and  Sassafras 
and  these  rivers  are  indeed  two  beautiful  bodies  of  water.  There  are 
many,  many  miles  of  water  front  to  this  delightful  county  and  here 
have  come  since  the  founding  of  the  Province  men  of  distinction  and 
fortune  and  set  up  their  homes  on  Cecil's  fair  lands  that  overlook 
the  waters  of  the  Chesapeake,  the  Susquehanna,  the  Shannon,  the 
Elk  and  the  Sassafras.  To  these  waters  John  Smith,  in  1608,  came 
on  his  voyage  of  discovery,  having  been  sent  up  the  Chesapeake  Bay 
to  make  a  map  of  it  and  its  tributaries.  His  description  of  the 
country,  of  the  Indian  inhabitants,  of  the  wild  game  and  the  wild 
fowl,  furnishes  most  entertaining  reading,  and  is  said  to  be  the 
earliest  description  of  that  part  of  Maryland  now  within  Cecil 

Years  after  John  Smith  had  visited  this  country  around  the  head 
of  the  Chesapeake  one  Bohemian,  Col.  Augustine  Herman,  came 
through  the  county  on  his  way  to  St.  Mary's  City,  then  the  capital 
of  the  Province,  having  been  commissioned  by  the  Dutch  at  New 
York  to  take  up  some  business  with  the  Proprietary.  A  few  years 
later  Augustine  Herman  entered  into  an  agreement  with  the  Calverts 
to  make  a  survey  of  the  Province  and  deliver  to  them  a  map  setting 
forth  the  water  courses,  islands,  Indian  tribes  and  villages  and  other 
interesting  data,  in  consideration  for  which  the  Proprietary  was  to 
give  him  a  large  tract  of  land  on  the  Bohemia  River.  Upon  the  com- 
pletion of  the  map  it  was  taken  to  London  and  there  engraved  and 
printed  in  1672.  Herman  showed  by  this  noteworthy  piece  of  work 
that  he  was  a  skilled  engineer  and  with  it  a  very  close  observer.  Copies 
of  this  map  may  be  seen  in  the  Library  of  the  Maryland  Historical 
Society.  It  is  remarkable  how  closely  it  approximates  the  present 
shore  lines  of  the  State. 

On  his  return  from  England  in  1680,  Charles  Calvert,  then  Pro- 
prietary of  the  Province,  brought  to  Maryland  with  him  his  kinsman, 
George  Talbot,  and  had  surveyed  for  him  a  grant  of  32,000  acres 
and  named  it  "New  Connought."  His  cousin  was  described  in  the 
grant  as  "George  Talbot  of  Castle  Rooney  in  the  County  of  Ross- 


common  in  the  Kingdom  of  Ireland,  Esq^"  To  this  great  tract  of  land 
Talbot  afterward  gave  the  name  of  "Susquehanna  Manor"  and  his 
grant  empowered  Talbot  to  hold  both  courts  baron  and  courts  leet. 

The  first  settlement  in  Cecil  County  was  on  Palmer's  Island,  now 
known  as  Garrett's  Island,  in  the  mouth  of  the  Susquehanna  River, 
in  1628,  just  twenty  years  after  John  Smith  explored  the  Chesapeake 
Bay.  This  settlement,  like  the  one  on  the  "Kentish  Isle,"  was  one  of 
Claiborne's  trading  posts  and  at  that  time  was  a  part  of  the  Virginia 
Colony's  lands.  The  first  permanent  settlement  in  what  is  now  Cecil 
County  was  at  Carpenter's  Point  near  the  mouth  of  Principio  Creek. 
During  the  years  just  after  the  erection  of  the  county  settlements 
were  made  along  the  water  courses  and  when  the  Assembly  author- 
ized the  erection  of  some  "necessary"  towns  in  1683,  one  was  laid  out 
on  ''Captain  Jones'  Creek,"  now  erroneously  called  Cabin  John's 
Creek,  in  Elk  River.  Here  in  Cecil,  as  in  the  other  counties,  the 
court  was  held  at  the  houses  of  different  men  and  for  their  enter- 
tainment the  justices  paid  in  tobacco  each  year  when  "the  levy  was 
struck."  At  Ordinary  Point  in  Sassafras  River  a  court  house  was 
standing  in  the  year  1679.  This  is  attested  by  a  Labadist  who  was 
visiting  in  the  Colonies  at  the  time  and  describes  his  experiences  in 
crossing  the  Sassafras  River  from  Ordinary  Point  on  his  way  to 
Kent  County.  Later  on,  171 7,  the  court  house  was  taken  to  Court 
House  Point,  and  the  old  court  house  at  Ordinary  Point  was  sold  at 
public  auction  in  17 iq.  The  court  was  then  held  at  Court  House 
Point  on  "Bohemia  Manor,"  but  was  later  taken  to  Charlestown  and 
thence,  June  11,  1778,  to  ''Head  of  Elk,"  a  village  at  the  head  of 
Elk  River.  In  1786  the  Assembly  authorized  the  building  of  a  court 
house  at  "Head  of  Elk"  and  in  1787  this  village  became  incorporated 
and  the  name  was  changed  to  Elkton.  Elkton  is  now  a  thriving  town 
with  a  delightful  farming  country  surrounding  it  and  the  modern 
improvements  and  luxuries  are  everywhere  to  be  seen. 

Charlestown  was  laid  out  in  1742  and  contains  many  quaint  old 
houses.  It  was  supposed  at  one  time  that  this  location  on  the  North- 
east River,  sometime  known  as  the  "Shannon,"  would  make  a 
metropolis  of  Charlestown  and  that  Baltimore  would  never  be  as 
large.  Fredericktown  on  the  Sassafras  was  laid  out  in  1736  and  like 
Frenchtown  and  Charlestown  was  burned  by  the  British  in  the  War 



of  1812-14.  It  was  to  the  country  around  Fredericktown  that  refugee 
Acadians  came  in  1755  and  there  are  still  some  of  their  descendants 
living  in  the  county.  It  was  in  Principio  that  iron  was  made  as 
early  as  1 740  and  shipped  to  England.  Ore  was  found  in  the  surround- 
ing counties  as  well  as  in  Cecil  and  taken  to  the  Principio  Furnaces  for 

In  the  Act  of  Assembly  of  1723,  authorizing  the  establishment  of 
a  free  school  in  each  county,  the  commissioners  named  to  purchase 
the  TOO  acres  of  land  on  which  to  build  the  Cecil  School  were  Col. 
John  Ward,  Maj.  John  Dowdall,  Col.  Benjamin  Pearce,  Stephen 
Knight,  Edward  Jackson,  Richard  Thompson  and  Thomas  Johnson, 
Junior.  The  land  was  bought  on  the  south  side  of  Bohemia  River  in 
Sassafras  Neck.  There  is  in  the  county  a  great  school — the  Tome 
Institute,  founded  through  the  generosity  of  one  of  Cecil's  sons,  Jacob 
Tome.  This  magnificent  institution  is  beautifully  located  on  the 
hills  along  the  Susquehanna  River  above  the  thriving  town  of  Port 

Another  institution  of  learning  in  Cecil  County  is  the  West  Not- 
tingham Academy,  which  was  founded  by  the  Presbyterians  in  1741 
for  the  preparation  of  young  men  for  the  ministry.  Its  founding  is  due 
to  the  Rev.  Samuel  F"indley,  who  served  as  pastor  of  the  Nottingham 
Presbyterian  church  seventeen  years  and  who  was  a  man  of  sincere  piety 
and  intellectual  power.  The  school  soon  became  widely  known  through- 
out the  country  and  drew  to  it  many  students  from  a  distance.  Among 
those  who  received  their  education  there  may  be  mentioned  Governor 
Martin  of  North  Carolina,  Governor  Henry  of  Maryland,  and  Dr. 
Benjamin  Rush,  whose  renown  is  in  connection  with  the  University 
of  Pennsylvania. 

The  Presbyterians  of  Cecil  County  look  back  to  the  early  days  of 
West  Nottingham,  about  1724,  with  pride,  for  it  was  at  that  place 
and  at  that  time  the  Scotch- Irish  settlers  in  upper  Cecil  County  laid 
the  foundation  of  Presbyterianism  in  the  county.  Under  the  date 
of  March  23,  1724,  the  following  record  appears  in  the  minutes  of 
the  New  Castle  (Delaware)  Presbytery : — 

Ordered  that  Mr.  Houston  supply  the  people  at  the  Mouth  of 
Octoraro  the  fifth  Sabbath  of  May,  and  Mr.  Thomas  Evans  the  third 
Sabbath  of  April. 



That  congregation  was  later  called  Lower  Octoraro  and  was  a 
branch  of  West  Nottingham.  To  the  energy  and  personal  magnetism 
of  the  Rev.  James  Magraw,  D.D.,  born  in  1775,  more  than  to  any 
other  person  is  due  the  present  strength  of  Presbyterianism  in  Cecil 
County.  His  work  from  1801  to  1835  was  especially  effective  in  the 
Octoraro  Valley  and  the  northern  part  of  the  county. 

St.  Francis  Xavier's  Church  near  Warwick,  one  of  the  very 
early  Roman  Catholic  places  of  worship  in  Cecil  County,  was  erected 
by  the  Jesuits.  It  was  in  the  school  connected  with  this  church  that 
the  first  Roman  Catholic  bishop  in  Maryland,  John  Carroll,  was 
educated.  Bishop  Carroll  was  the  founder  of  Georgetown  College, 
in  the  District  of  Columbia. 

One  of  Cecil's  sons  who  has  taken  his  place  among  the  famous  men 
of  America,  James  Rumsey,  the  inventor  of  steam-driven  boats,  was 
born  near  the  head  of  Bohemia  River. 

The  county  responded  early  to  the  help  of  the  struggling  con- 
federation of  colonies  in  their  war  against  Great  Britain  in  1776. 
While  no  battles  were  fought  on  her  soil,  it  was,  however,  due  to  her 
geographic  situation  that  Cecil  was  the  scene  of  great  activities 
throughout  the  war.  Three  battalions  of  volunteers  were  raised  in 
Cecil,  consisting  of  about  750  men  each.  Col.  Charles  Rumsey  com- 
manded the  Second  Battalion,  Col.  John  Veazey,  the  Eighteenth,  and 
Col.  George  Johnson,  the  Thirtieth.  Col.  Henry  Hollingsworth  was 
the  recognized  agent  in  Cecil  for  the  Continental  Congress.  General 
Washington  and  that  generous  and  distinguished  Frenchman,  General 
de  La  Fayette,  were  not  infrequent  visitors  to  Elkton  and  the  county 
during  the  Revolution. 

When  the  Church  of  England  was  established  in  Maryland  in 
i6q2  what  is  now  known  as  St.  Stephen's  Parish  was  part  of  North 
Sassafras  Parish,  which  was  then  coextensive  with  Elk,  Bohemia  and 
North  Sassafras  Hundreds. 


Granted  1662 

MARYLAND  was  a  British  colony  and  the  early  settlers  came 
from  both  England  and  Ireland.  To  Bohemia  belongs  the  dis- 
tinction of  being  represented  by  the  first  person,  Augustine  Herman 
by  name,  who,  because  of  his  non-British  birth,  was  obliged  to  obtain 
citizenship  in  Maryland  by  an  Act  of  the  Assembly.  In  his  petition, 
1666,  for  citizenship,  he  stated  that  he  was  born  at  Prague,  in  the 
Kingdom  of  Bohemia,  and  that  his  children  were  born  at  New  York. 
He  had  gone  to  New  York  in  the  employ  of  the  West  India  Company 
in  1633,  and  being  a  man  of  strong  personality  he  soon  became 
prominent  in  the  affairs  of  the  Dutch  settlement  on  the  Hudson 

In  1659  he  was  sent  by  Governor  Stuyvesant  to  Governor  Calvert 
to  "ask  in  a  friendly  way  the  re-delivery  and  restitution  of  such  free 
people  and  servants  as  had  taken  refuge  in  the  Province  of  Mary- 
land." It  was  while  on  this  mission  that  he  was  first  shown  the 
beautiful  lands,  now  in  Cecil  County  but  then  in  Baltimore  County, 
that  were  later  to  become  his  own.    Augustine  Herman  was  an  engi- 



neer  of  ability  and  soon  after  his  return  to  New  York  he  went  again 
to  see  Governor  Calvert  at  St.  Mary's  City  and  entered  into  an 
agreement  with  him  to  make  a  map  of  Maryland  for  which  he  was 
to  receive  a  large  tract  of  land.  He  began  his  work  on  the  map  at  once 
and  on  the  iqth  of  June,  1662,  was  granted  4,000  acres  on  the  Elk 
River,  which  he  named  "Bohemia  Manor." 

Upon  that  tract  he  selected  a  beautiful  site  on  which  he  built 
his  manor  house.  The  view  toward  the  west  is  out  over  a  broad 
expanse  of  water  and  backed  by  the  hills  of  the  western  shore  of  the 
Chesapeake  Bay — a  view  rarely  equalled  in  Maryland.  Of  the  fine 
manor  house  that  he  built  and  which  stood  for  nearly  125  years 
nothing  remains  save  a  few  scattered  bricks  to  show  its  original  out- 
lines. The  grounds  around  the  old  manor  house  were  laid  out  on  a 
grand  scale,  and  a  park  in  which  many  deer  were  kept  was  enclosed 
by  a  high  fence  near  the  house  where  the  master  could  see  his  pets. 
The  present  house  was  built  by  the  Bayards — the  present  owners. 

The  Provincial  Assembly  in  1671  authorized  Augustine  Herman 
to  build  a  prison  on  "Bohemia  Manor,"  twenty  feet  square,  of  logs 
in  which  to  keep  the  "runaways"  from  the  "Delaware  and  Northern 
Settlements.  "  The  Province  was  assessed  10,000  pounds  of  tobacco 
to  pay  for  the  building  and  its  maintenance  for  one  year.  "Bohemia 
Manor,"  1662,  "Mill  Fall,"  1664,  "Small  Hope,"  1664,  "Misfortune," 
1678,  "Little  Bohemia,"  1681,  "Bohemia  Sisters,"  1683,  granted  to 
Augustine  Herman,  and  "St.  Augustine's  Manor,"  1684,  granted  to 
his  son,  Ephraim  George  Herman,  were  in  1722  all  in  the  hands  of 
John  Jarward,  who  married  the  widow  of  Augustine  Herman.  These 
lands  comprised  about  20,000  acres  of  the  best  farm  lands  of  Cecil 
and  New  Castle  (Delaware)  Counties,  and  extended  from  the  Bohemia 
River  to  near  Middletown,  Delaware. 

Augustine  Herman's  wife  was  Jannetje,  daughter  of  Caspar  and 
Judith  Varlet,  of  New  Netherlands,  who  was  born  in  Utrecht,  and  to 
whom  he  was  married  at  New  Am.sterdam  on  December  10,  165 1. 
Their  five  children  were  Ephraim  George,  Casparus,  Anna  Marga- 
retta,  Judith  and  Francina.  From  this  famous  Bohemian  settler  is 
descended  many  Maryland  families,  prominent  among  whom  are  the 
Bouchelles,  Oldhams,  Masseys,  Bordleys,  Thompsons,  Stumps,  Con- 
stables and  Hynsons. 


Built  about  1800 

THIS  house  stands  upon  the  banks  of  the  Elk  River,  about  three 
miles  south  of  Elkton,  near  the  old  wharf  at  Frenchtown,  and 
has  a  varied  and  interesting  history.  Just  when  it  was  built  is  not  now 
known,  but  it  is  constructed  on  the  same  general  plan  as  "Holly  Hall," 
now  the  home  of  Mrs.  George  R.  Ash.  It  was  built  on  part  of  the 
estate  of  Frisby  Henderson,  who  was  a  very  large  landowner  in  this 
part  of  Cecil.  He  also  owned  "White  Hall"  and  "Scotland  Point," 
two  tracts  lying  across  the  Elk  River  in  Elk  Neck. 

During  the  invasion  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  by  the  British  fleet 
under  Admiral  Cockburn,  Frenchtown  was  burned,  April  29,  181 3. 
It  was  defended  by  a  fort  constructed  of  logs,  and  in  which  were  three 
guns.  The  soldiers  in  charge  of  the  fort  thought  their  number  too 
small  to  make  a  successful  defence,  left  the  fort  and  went  to  Elkton. 
The  sturdy  stage  drivers  and  other  patriotic  men  of  the  town  manned 
the  guns  and  made  a  heroic  fight  against  the  British  vessels  until 
forced  by  the  exhaustion  of  their  ammunition  to  abandon  the  fort. 



Strange  to  say,  this  house  was  saved  from  the  torch.    It  was  used 
for  a  hotel  for  many  years,  although  built  for  a  residence. 

The  Frenchtown  and  New  Castle  Railroad,  which  connected  the 
Chesapeake  and  Delaware  Bays,  began  as  a  turnpike  company  organ- 
ized in  i8oq,  then  operating  a  freight  line  between  Baltimore  and 
Philadelphia.  The  freight  was  taken  on  sloops  from  Baltimore  to 
Frenchtown  and  then  by  wagon  to  New  Castle,  Delaware.  There  it 
was  loaded  on  vessels  for  delivery  in  Philadelphia.  When  steam  was 
applied  to  boats  the  "Chesapeake,"  the  first  steam-driven  boat  to 
ply  upon  the  waters  of  Maryland,  made  its  first  trip  from  Baltimore 
to  Frenchtown.  In  1824,  when  General  Lafayette  came  to  America, 
he  was  met  at  Frenchtown  by  a  committee  aboard  the  steamer 
"United  States"  commanded  by  Captain  Tripp.  Lafayette  had 
traveled  by  stage  to  Frenchtown. 

Across  the  Elk  River  from  Frenchtown  is  a  peninsula  called  Elk 
Neck;  the  Chesapeake  Bay  and  Northeast  River  bound  it  on  the 
west  and  the  Elk  River  on  the  east.  To  this  part  of  Cecil  have  come 
many  persons  of  wealth  who  found  delightful  water  sites  on  which 
they  have  built  beautiful  homes.  E.  F.  Shanbacher,  president  of  the 
Fourth  Street  National  Bank  of  Philadelphia,  owns  "Lower  Triumph," 
a  tract  of  547  acres,  which  was  resurveyed  in  i6qi  for  William  Dare. 
William  Dare  was  one  of  the  Commissioners  of  Justice  for  Cecil 
County  at  that  time  and  in  1684  had  been  appointed  Sheriff  of  Cecil. 
He  obtained  grants  for  several  tracts  in  the  county. 

Properly  belonging  to  the  early  history  of  this  vicinity  is  the  story 
of  the  beginnings  of  the  Chesapeake  and  Delaware  Canal,  which  now, 
as  at  the  time,  (i/qq),  the  American  Philosophical  Society  of  Phila- 
delphia ordered  a  survey  to  be  made  with  a  view  of  constructing  a 
canal  on  this  route,  seems  so  important  to  the  welfare  of  the  coastwise 
commerce  and  naval  forces  of  the  United  States. 

On  April  15,  1824,  work  was  begun  on  the  canal  under  John 
Randel,  Jr.,  a  civil  engineer  of  New  York.  Owing  to  disagreement 
Randel  was  relieved  as  engineer  and  the  work  completed  Octo- 
ber 17,  1829,  under  Benjamin  Wright.  The  canal  begins  at  Chesa- 
peake City,  in  Cecil  County,  and  enters  the  Delaware  Bay  at  Dela- 
ware City,  Delaware.  It  is  nearly  fourteen  miles  long,  and  cost 


Built  1802 

HOLLY  HALL"  is  one  of  the  fine  old  places  of  Cecil  and  is 
renowned  for  the  genuine  hospitality  always  extended  by  its 
owners,  from  Gen.  James  Sewell,  who  built  the  house  in  1802,  down 
to  the  present  owner,  the  widow  of  George  R.  Ash,  of  Elkton.  "Holly 
Hall"  was  so  named  because  of  the  profusion  of  holly  trees  growing 
on  the  place. 

These  holly  trees,  with  the  immense  boxwood  hedges,  give  a  very 
picturesque  setting  for  the  old  mansion.  The  lawns  are  beautifully 
kept  and  the  great  trees  that  surround  "Holly  Hall"  add  to  its  charm. 
The  house  stands  on  a  part  of  the  Rudulph  estate,  the  land  being 
owned  by  Ann  Maria  Rudulph  at  the  time  (1802)  she  married  General 
Sewell.  He  was  a  son  of  Basil  and  Elizabeth  Dawson  Sewell,  of  Talbot 
County,  and  went  to  Elkton  to  live  about  1800. 

The  newly  built  State  highway  which  passes  along  the  front  of 
"Holly  Hall"  leads  from  Elkton  through  Chesapeake  City,  on  through 
Chestertown,  in  Kent  County,  to  the  lower  end  of  the  Eastern  Shore. 


Built  about  1750 

HENRY  HOLLINGSWORTH  came  to  Cecil  County  about  1700 
and  was  appointed  deputy  surveyor  for  the  county  in  171 2. 
From  him  has  descended  the  long  line  of  distinguished  citizens  of  the 
name.  His  grandson,  Col.  Henry  Hollingsworth  built  "Partridge  Hill" 
prior  to  1750.  It  is  situated  in  Elkton  and  fronts  on  Main  Street. 
The  lot  on  which  the  house  stands  is  beautifully  laid  out  in  walks 
bordered  with  boxwood  hedges.  The  house  is  built  of  English  bricks 
and  its  most  distinguishing  feature  is  its  wide  colonial  hall.  From  the 
rear  of  the  hall  a  quaint  stairway  leads  up  to  the  spacious  sleeping 
rooms.  The  furnishings  of  the  house  were  of  the  choicest  of  the 

Col.  Henry  Hollingsworth  married  a  wealthy  woman,  Jane  Evans, 
of  Cecil  County,  and  by  her  had  several  children.  He  was  a  noted 
patriot  and  during  the  Revolutionary  War  was  engaged  in  the  manu- 
facture of  gun-barrels  and  bayonets  for  the  Council  of  Safety  for 
xMaryland.  Mistress  Hollingsworth  was  far  too  particular  a  house- 
wife to  enjoy  the  books  and  papers  of  the  Colonel  scattered  around 



her  home,  so,  during  his  absence  at  a  session  of  the  Maryland  Assem- 
bly, one  winter,  she  had  an  office  built  for  him  adjoining  the  residence. 
When  the  Colonel  came  home  he  found  all  his  belongings  moved  into 
the  new  office,  and  there  they  stayed ! 

The  grandchildren  of  Colonel  Hoi  lings  worth,  Mary,  Jane  E.  and 
the  late  John  Partridge,  inherited  "Partridge  Hill"  and  when  the 
Partridge  estate  was  settled  the  property  was  sold  to  the  late  John 
Gilpin.  He  left  it  to  his  sister.  Miss  Margaret  A.  Gilpin,  the  present 


I02  ] 


Built  1768 

AMONG  the  early  houses  built  at  "Head  of  Elk"  is  the  "Tobias 
L  Rudulph  House,"  which  stands  on  Main  Street  in  Elkton.  It  is 
now  used  as  an  office  by  Henry  L.  Constable  and  has  been  a  familiar 
landmark  in  the  town  for  many  years.  It  was  built  by  Tobias 
Rudulph  when  there  were  few  houses  in  the  neighborhood  and  at  the 
time  it  was  constructed  stood  directly  on  the  highway  between  Balti- 
more and  Philadelphia.  It  is  of  brick  and  the  style  of  architecture  not 
unlike  that  of  the  house  at  Valley  Forge  which  served  as  headquarters 
for  General  Washington. 

In  each  room  there  is  a  quaint  fireplace.    In  the  fireplace  in  the 
parlor  there  is  a  cast-iron  plate  bearing  the  inscription  in  raised  letters, 

[  103  ] 


"T.  R.  1769."  The  doors  are  of  heavy  oak,  fashioned  in  the  antique 
"cross"  pattern  and  the  original  wrought-iron  hinges  and  latches  are 
still  to  be  seen.  The  stairway  evidences  the  greatest  care  in  building. 
Tobias  Rudulph  and  his  three  brothers,  Bartholomew,  Hanse  and 
Jacob,  settled  at  ''Head  of  Elk"  and  carved  out  of  the  forest  homes  for 
themselves.  By  the  time  the  Revolutionary  War  began  they  had 
established  themselves  very  comfortably  in  the  old  settlement  at  the 
head  of  the  Elk  River.  In  this  old  house  was  born  to  Tobias  Rudulph 
two  sons,  John  and  Tobias  II,  and  two  daughters.  Tobias  Rudulph 
III,  lawyer  and  poet,  was  also  born  there,  as  was  his  sisters,  Ann 
Maria,  who  married  Gen.  James  Sewell  of  "Holly  Hall,"  and  Martha, 
who  married  Rev.  William  Torbert.  The  latter's  heirs  now  own  the 

John  Rudulph  served  throughout  the  Revolutionary  War  as  a 
major  in  "Light  Horse  Harry"  Lee's  battalion  of  light  dragoons, 
familiarly  known  as  "Lee's  Legion."  His  cousin,  Michael  Rudulph 
also  served  in  "Lee's  Legion  "  as  a  captain.  Their  courage  won  for 
them  the  proud  distinction  of  "Lions  of  the  Legion.  "  Michael 
Rudulph  married  a  lady  of  Savannah,  Georgia,  but  their  married 
life  was  not  harmonious  and  he  concluded  to  lead  the  life  of  a  sea- 
faring man.  There  is  a  tradition  current  in 
Cecil  County  that  Marshal  Ney  was  none 
other  than  Michael  Rudulph. 

This  house  has  been  closely  connected 
with  the  political  history  of  Cecil.    Eliza 

0*  Black  Groome,  a  sister  of  Governor  James 
I  i  Black  Groome,  married  Albert  Constable,  a 
J  •  I  noted  Maryland  lawyer.  Governor  Groom, 
(4  March  1874-12  January,  1876),  had  been 
preceded  at  Annapolis  from  Cecil  by  Thomas 
Ward  Veazey,  (14  January,  1836-7  January, 
183Q),  the  last  Maryland  Governor  elected 
by  the  Legislature.  Cecil  has  iiad  a  third 
Governor,  Austin  Lane  Crothers,  (8  January, 
I Q08- 1  o  January,  i  q  1 2) . 




TO  Charlestown,  at  the  head  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  on  the  west 
side  of  Northeast  River,  the  people  of  the  Province  looked  for 
the  eventual  metropolis  of  Maryland.  By  Act  of  the  Assembly,  Sep- 
tember, 21,1 74,2,  Col.  Thomas  Colwill,  Capt.  Nicholas  Hyland,  Benja- 
min Pearce,  William  Alexander,  Henry  Baker,  Zebulon  Hollingsworth 
and  John  Read  were  appointed  commissioners  to  lay  out  and  erect  a 
town  at  a  place  called  Long  Point  on  the  west  side  of  Northeast  River. 
Squares  were  laid  off  for  a  court  house,  a  market  house  and  other 
public  buildings.  A  public  wharf  and  store  were  built,  a  shipyard  was 
constructed  and  the  usual  activities  consequent  caused  Philadelphia 
to  wonder  how  soon  her  trade  would  be  diverted  to  Charlestown! 
The  March  term  of  Cecil  Court,  1 78 1 ,  was  held  in  two  rooms  rented 
from  Alexander  Hasson.  Charlestown  was,  however,  soon  out  of  the 
race,  for,  in  1 786,  the  growth  and  prosperity  of  ''Head  of  Elk,"  together 
with  the  influence  of  the  Hollingsworths,  demanded  the  removal  of  the 
seat  of  justice  to  that  place.  This  was  done,  "Head  of  Elk"  becoming 
known  as  Elk  ton. 


An  Original  Maryland  Parish 

A  FEW  miles  to  the  north  of  the  Sassafras  River  stands  St. 
Stephen's  Church,  surrounded  by  a  beautiful  grove  of  trees.  All 
around  this  church  for  miles  in  every  direction  lie  the  rich  lands  of 
the  southern  part  of  Cecil  County. 

This  one  of  the  thirty  parishes  laid  out  in  i6q2  embraced  what  was 
then  known  as  North  Sassafras,  Bohemia  and  Elk  Hundreds,  and  was 
called  North  Sassafras  Parish.   Near  the  present  building  an  old 



church  had  been  standing  for  some  years  and  when  the  work  of  laying 
out  the  parishes  was  begun  the  edifice  gave  way  because  of  its  incon- 
venient location  to  one  built  on  the  land — loo  acres — bought  of 
William  Ward.  Although  the  vestry  contracted  for  a  building  to  be 
erected  then,  it  was  not  dedicated  until  March  25,  1706,  and  it  was  at 
that  time  that  the  parish  name  was  changed  from  North  Sassafras  to 
St.  Stephen's. 

The  first  vestrymen  of  St.  Stephen's  were  elected  on  November 
22,  1692,  and  they  were  Col.  Caspar  Herman,  Maj.  John  Thompson, 
William  Ward,  Henry  Rigg,  Matthias  Vanderheyden  and  Henry  Jones. 

After  nearly  thirty  years  the  vestry  contracted,  in  1733,  ^^^  ^ 
larger  church  building  and  the  edifice  was  completed  in  1737.  In 
1823  this  old  church  became  unsafe  as  a  place  of  worship  because  of 
its  decayed  condition,  and  the  vestry  determined  to  take  it  down  and 
rebuild  it.  The  rebuilding  of  the  church  was  completed  and  on  July 
21,  1824,  it  was  consecrated  by  Bishop  Kemp.  That  building  stood 
until  1873,  when  the  present  church  was  erected. 

In  1744,  St.  Stephen's  Parish  was  divided  and  Augustine  Parish 
formed  of  the  northern  part  of  the  old  parish .  The  chapel  on  ' ' Bohemia 
Manor"  became  the  parish  church  of  Augustine  Parish.  The  first  min- 
ister was  the  Rev.  Lawrence  Vanderbush,  who  was  regularly  inducted 
into  his  place  by  Governor  Francis  Nicholson,  the  then  Governor  of 
the  Province  of  Maryland.  Many  of  the  clergy  who  from  time  to  time 
were  rectors  of  this  old  parish  became  famous.  The  records  of  the 
parish  have  been  carefully  copied  and  the  copies  are  filed  with  the 
Maryland  Historical  Society.  There  are  over  500  different  family 
names  on  the  records,  among  them  the  following : 









Clark  " 


































































Van  Bibber 




















Surveyed  1658 

WHERE  the  Susquehanna  empties  its  swift  current  into  the 
Chesapeake,  a  colonial  mansion  stands.  On  the  eastern  side  of 
the  river  on  Perry  Point  is  the  home  of  the  Stumps  of  Cecil  County, 
commanding  a  beautiful  view  of  the  surrounding  country,  the  bay 
and  the  river.  Across  on  the  Harford  side  is  historic  Havre  de  Grace 
and  the  little  white  Point  Concord  Light  House,  which  serves  as  a 
guide  to  the  watermen  of  the  upper  bay. 

"Perry  Point,"  which  now  contains  upward  of  500  acres,  was 
surveyed  July  20,  1658,  and  then  embraced  800  acres.  This  tract  and 
"Perry  Neck,"  which  adjoined  it  and  was  surveyed  for  200  acres 
July  23,  1658,  were  patented  to  John  Bateman.  "Perry  Point"  was 
purchased  by  John  Stump  in  1800  from  George  Gale,  and  is  still 
owned  by  the  former's  descendants.  John  Stump  died  at  "Perry 
Point"  in  1828,  and  the  next  owner  was  his  son,  John,  who  married 
Mary  Alecia,  a  daughter  of  Col.  George  E.  Mitchell  and  his  wife, 
Mary  Hooper,  of  Dorchester.  Two  of  their  sons  were  the  late  Asso- 
ciate Judge  Frederick  Stump,  of  the  Second  Judicial  Circuit,  (1867- 

[  108  1 


iqoi),  and  Associate  Judge  Henry  Arthur  Stump  of  the  present 
Supreme  Bench  of  Baltimore  City.  John  Stump,  Jr.,  and  Dr.  George 
M.  Stump  were  the  second  and  third  sons. 

The  progenitor  of  the  family  in  Maryland,  the  first  John  Stump, 
came  to  America  about  1700  and  lived  near  Perryville.  From  his  two 
sons,  John  and  Henry,  descended  the  Stumps  of  Cecil  and  Harford. 
Judge  Henry  Stump,  years  ago  Judge  of  the  Criminal  Court  of  Balti- 
more City,  was  of  this  northeastern  Maryland  family,  and  two  of  the 
Harford  Stumps  widely  known  in  public  life  are  former  Congressman 
Herman  Stump,  United  States  Commissioner-General  of  Immigration 
under  Cleveland,  and  his  nephew,  Bertram  N.  Stump,  now  Com- 
missioner of  Immigration  at  the  Port  of  Baltimore.  Both  John  and 
Henry,  sons  of  the  emigrant,  settled  eventually  in  Harford,  and  the 
third  John,  son  of  Henry,  long  a  Baltimore  merchant,  married  his 
cousin,  Hannah,  daughter  of  John  Stump  and  Hannah  Husband,  who 
was  a  descendant  of  Augustine  Herman.  The  six  daughters  of  the 
fourth  John,  of  "Perry  Point,"  were  Mary,  who  married  Rev.  T.  S.  C. 
Smith;  Anna  J.,  who  married  William  Webster;  Henrietta,  who  mar- 
ried Alexander  Mitchell;  Katherine  W.,  who  married  Dr.  James  M. 
Magraw;  Elizabeth  H.,  who  married  J.  Iverson  Boswell;  and  Alicia 
Mitchell  Stump. 

The  property  was  in  Revolutionary  times  bounded  on  the  north 
by  the  old  post  road  that  led  from  Philadelphia  to  Baltimore  and 
Annapolis  and  along  which  the  troops  of  the  Continental  Army 
marched  on  their  way  to  Yorktown,  to  assist  in  the  defeat  of  Corn- 
wallis.  A  ferry  over  the  Susquehanna  was  operated  during  the  sum- 
mer months  but  during  winter  time  travel  across  the  river  was  carried 
on  over  the  ice. 

George  Gale,  from  whom  ''Perry  Point"  was  bought,  a  Repre- 
sentative in  the  First  Congress,  was  in  1795  commissioned  to  purchase 
that  part  of  Whetstone  Point  in  Baltimore,  on  which  Fort  McHenry 
is  built.  In  a  letter  to  Robert  Purviance,  then  Collector  of  the  Port 
of  Baltimore,  Oliver  Wolcott,  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  in  President 
Washington's  Cabinet,  writes  under  date  of  March  2,  1795:  "I  have 
therefore  to  request  that  you  will  consider  Mr.  Gale  as  the  person  who 
is  now  authorized  on  the  part  of  the  United  States  to  purchase  the 
land  in  question."    The  fort  was  then  in  the  course  of  construction. 

Surveyed  1683 

WHERE  the  blue  hills  of  Cecil  join  the  gray  skyline  way  up  the 
Susquehanna  River  there  stands  an  old  house,  built  about  1734, 
on  the  farm  known  as  "Success."  Thomas  Lightfoot  received  this 
grant,  which  was  surveyed  for  him  November  3,  1683.  It  then  con- 
tained 300  acres.  He  also  received  a  grant  for  an  adjoining  600  acres 
surveyed  the  same  day;  this  property  he  called  "The  Land  of  De- 
light." From  Thomas  Lightfoot  it  descended  to  Thomas  Hammond, 
who  owned  these  two  properties  in  1 722,  as  will  be  seen  upon  reference 
to  Lord  Baltimore's  rent  rolls  of  that  year.  In  1 734  we  find  "Success" 
in  possession  of  Thomas  Hammond  Cromwell,  whose  descendants,  the 
Misses  Isabella  and  Mary  H.  Nickles,  now  own  the  property. 

The  Susquehanna  River,  which  is  in  full  view  of  the  old  house, 
bounds  the  farm  on  the  west.  To  the  east  is  Rowlandsville,  a  pretty 
little  hamlet  that  nestles  in  the  hills  along  the  banks  of  the  sparkling, 
swift-flowing  Octoraro  Creek.  The  main  road  that  leads  from  Port 
Deposit  to  Lancaster,  Pennsylvania,  bounds  the  farm  on  the  east. 
To  the  north  and  adjoining  "Success"  is  the  old  "Smith's  Fort" 



place,  which  was  granted  Capt.  Richard  Smith  on  the  20th  of  June, 
1685.  There  is  a  tradition  current  in  the  neighborhood  that  the  famous 
adventurer,  Capt.  John  Smith,  while  exploring  the  Chesapeake  Bay 
and  the  Susquehanna  River  in  1608,  went  up  to  this  place  in  his  boats 
and  that  it  is  the  first  place  in  Cecil  County  on  which  a  white  man 
ever  set  foot. 

To  the  south  is  "Mount  Welcome,"  the  homestead  of  the  Halls  of 
Revolutionary  fame.  From  these  farms  along  the  Susquehanna  most 
delightful  views  of  the  river  and  surrounding  hills  are  to  be  had.  The 
old  house  on  "Success"  farm  is  a  one-and-a-half  story  structure  with 
hip  roof  and  dormer  windows.  The  property  was  in  the  Cromwell 
family  for  a  number  of  years.  They  were  descendants  of  Thomas 
Hammond  and  the  old  burying  ground  near  the  house  contains  the 
graves  of  many  of  that  name  and  a  monument  has  been  erected  there 
in  their  memory. 

It  is  said  that  Betsy  Claypoole,  who  later  became  famous  as  Betsy 
Ross,  was  a  frequent  visitor  at  "Success  Farm,"  and  who  is  it  that  can 
say  she  did  not  cut  out  the  white  stars  to  be  sewed  on  the  blue  field 
of  her  flag  while  she  was  visiting  at  this  old  homestead? 

Close  to  this  farm  is  the  famous  "Mount  Ararat,"  in  a  cave  of 
which  George  Talbot  hid  when  a  fugitive  from  justice. 

He  was  a  reckless  character  and  wound  up  his  career  in  the 
Province  by  killing  John  Rousby.  It  is  said  that  Talbot  hid  in  a 
cave  on  "Mount  Ararat,"  overlooking  the  Susquehanna  River,  after 
making  his  escape  through  the  aid  of  his  wife  and  devoted  friends 
from  Virginia,  where  he  had  been  taken  for  trial.  Tradition  says  that 
he  had  there  a  pair  of  falcons  which  he  sent  out  from  the  cave  each 
day  to  procure  food  for  him.  He  finally  fled  to  Ireland,  and  was  later 
killed  in  France  fighting  for  Great  Britain. 

Around  the  neighborhood  live  the  Harlans,  members  of  which 
family  have  become  famous  in  the  annals  of  Maryland  history.  The 
Rowlands,  who  lived  in  the  Octoraro  Valley,  have  given  to  the  State 
men  who  have  become  prominent  as  financiers. 

Only  a  few  miles  up  the  Susquehanna  there  is  a  bridge  across  the 
river  into  Harford  County  at  Conowingo.  From  this  point  a  splendid 
macadam  road,  frequented  by  automobile  tourists,  leads  direct  to 



FIRST  of  Maryland  soil  to  be  settled,  (Claiborne's  settlement, 
August  21,  163 1,  on  Kent  Island);  first  to  have  a  regular  church 
establishment,  (from  August  21,  1631,  Claiborne  constantly  main- 
tained a  clergyman  in  his  settlement);  first  to  resist  hostile  Indians; 
with  the  first  to  resist  the  British  in  Revolutionary  times,  (against 
Lord  Dunmore's  troops  on  Cherrystone  Creek,  Accomac  County, 
Virginia,  in  1775);  resisting  bravely  the  British  invasion  of  August  3 
and  4,  181 3,  and  doing  her  part  in  the  Mexican  and  Civil  Wars, 
Queen  Anne's  County  has  been  to  the  fore  in  these  and  other  ways  in 
Maryland  history. 

Her  area  consists  of  219,072  well-watered  acres,  divided  into 
37,848  acres  of  woodland  and  181,224  acres  of  farmland.  It  stretches 
over  a  clay  or  sandy  loam  on  a  plateau  whose  greatest  height  is  about 
200  feet.  It  slopes  gently  south  and  southwest  to  the  long  and  broad 
and  deep  Chester  River.  That  river  and  its  frequent  affluents,  the 
habitat  of  wild  fowl,  oysters,  crabs  and  terrapin,  and  the  Chesapeake 
Bay  and  its  creeks,  give  to  Queen  Anne's  County  the  second  longest 
water-shore  line  in  the  state — 348  miles.  Similarly  she  holds  the  rec- 
ord in  Maryland  for  having  the  second  largest  percentage  of  woods  to 
farmlands.  Contiguously  south  of  her  is  the  gallant  little  County  of 
Talbot,  which  is  first  in  both  of  the  above  particulars  and  from  whom 
and  from  fertile  and  far-spreading  old  Kent  to  her  northward,  she 
was  created  in  1706. 

Resultant  from  her  regional  and  exceptional  percentage  as  to 
water-frontage  and  woodland,  her  well-drained  and  fertile  soil,  and 
the  tempering  influence  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  on  her  westward 
boundary,  and  because  the  east  winds  bring  her  frequently  the  fresh 
Atlantic  air  within  an  hour,  the  climate  is  unsurpassed.  There  spring 
comes  earlier  and  rude  winter  enters  later  than  along  even  the  famous 



"North  Shore"  region  of  Massachusetts  and  the  brief  summer  heat 
is  tempered  by  exceptional  and  flowing  streams.  Nature  smiles  in 
beauty,  comfort  and  fertility  upon  the  diligent  dweller  in  the  sturdy 
county  of  "good  Queen  Anne." 

The  price  of  land  is  comparatively  low.  But  incoming  residents 
will  soon  advance  it.  The  markets  of  Philadelphia,  Baltimore  and 
other  cities  can  be  reached  with  ease  that  is  yearly  increasing  by- 
railroad,  steamboat,  sail  and  power  craft.  Not  only  do  climatic, 
aesthetic  and  material  advantages  of  the  county  beckon  to  the  shrewd 
seeker  for  a  farm,  or  for  a  healthy  retreat,  or  for  a  pleasure  home;  but 
the  charms  of  many  old  colonial  dwellings  add  their  persuasive  em- 
phasis. Has  any  county  in  the  State  so  many  mellow  colonial  dwell- 
ings awaiting  new  owners  to  arouse  them  from  the  enchanted  sleep 
on  which  they  fell  when  the  economic  changes  wrought  by  the  great 
Civil  War  swept  into  abeyance  her  old  activities  in  the  handling  of 
farming  lands? 

In  addition  there  are  many  of  the  ancient  homesteads  yet  tended 
lovingly  by  the  families  to  whom  they  have  long  pertained.  There 
is  "Conquest,"  an  old  Emory  place,  now  owned  by  Frank  Emory ;  and 
"Readbourne,"  the  old  Hollyday  place,  but  owned  by  John  Perry; 
and  "Cloverfields,"  the  old  Hemsley  place,  owned  by  Mr.  Callahan; 
and  "Reed's  Creek"  and  "Walnut  Grove,"  two  of  the  old  Wright 
places,  now  owned  respectively  by  Mrs.  Clayton  Wright  and  by  Mrs. 
McKenny,  who  had  first  been  married  to  its  owner  at  that  time,  the 
late  Thomas  Wright. 

The  western  half  of  the  "Walnut  Grove"  house  was  built  soon 
after  1685,  I  think,  and  by  County  Judge  Solomon  Wright,  who 
married  Miss  Anne  Hynson.  Solomon  Wright  came  to  Maryland  in 
1673  with  his  brother,  Nathaniel.  In  1677  they  were  joined  by  their 
brother,  Charles.  Nathaniel  built  that  yellow-washed  brick  house  yet 
standing  on  the  farm  known  as  "Tully's  Reserve."  Charles  built  the 
"White  Marsh"  house,  now  owned  and  inhabited  by  Spencer  Wright. 
Those  three  houses  are  yet  in  good  condition.  They  are  among  the 
oldest  in  the  county.  Which  of  them  is  oldest?  "Walnut  Grove,"  I 
think,  for  Solomon  Wright  was  the  oldest  brother  and  "Walnut 
Grove"  was  the  first  patented  of  the  properties  involved  and  had 
been  taken  up  even  earlier  by  Thomas  Hynson,  his  father-in-law. 



Solomon  Wright  had  caused  it  to  be  resurveyed  under  the  name  of 
"Worplesdon"  in  1685  and  he  there  resided.  I  think  that  it  is  the 
oldest  house  in  the  county. 

Then  there  is  "Melfield  House,"  the  old  Earle  homestead,  now 
owned  by  the  widow  of  William  B.  Earle.  Built  by  Judge  James 
Tilghman,  father-in-law  of  that  able  and  Christian  gentleman,  Rich- 
ard Tilghman  Earle,  born  June  23,  1767,  (Chief  Judge  of  the  upper 
Eastern  Shore  Circuit  Court,  and  consequently  a  member  of  the 
State  Court  of  Appeals) ,  it  has  since  continued  to  be  a  most  hospitable 
and  Christian  home.  Never  was  it  a  better  center  of  neighborhood 
influence  than  under  the  mastership  of  the  judge's  son,  the  late  and 
venerable  Samuel  Thomas  Earle,  grandfather  of  the  publisher  of  this 
book.  Beginning  with  the  polished  and  able  Judge  Earle,  "Melfield 
House"  is  closely  knit  with  good  and  generous  living,  while  the  land 
on  which  it  stands  carries  further  back  such  happy  associations,  for  it 
had  long  pertained  to  another  fine  Maryland  influence,  the  Tilghman 
family,  of  which  the  mother  of  Judge  Earle  was  a  gracious  member. 
The  present  occupant  is  that  kindly  and  active  gentleman,  William 
B.  Earle,  great-grandson  of  Judge  Richard  Tilghman  Earle. 

And  there  is  "The  Hermitage,"  the  beautiful  cradle  of  the  Tilghman 
family  in  this  country.  Taken  up  in  1659  it  has  received  loving  care 
from  each  of  its  successive  owners ;  but  none  of  them  has  equaled  the 
splendid  and  effective  devotion  of  its  present  owner.  Miss  Susan 
Frisby  Williams.  But  as  a  great-granddaughter  of  that  elegant  gen- 
tleman and  dashing  soldier,  the  gallant  Gen.  Otho  Holland  Williams, 
of  "The  Maryland  Line,"  and  as  a  representative  of  the  Tilghman 
family  as  well,  her  success  is  easily  to  be  understood,  for  she  is  indeed 
"to  the  manor  born."  And  many  are  the  good  and  neighborly  deeds 
she  has  done  in  the  county  and  elsewhere. 

Another  family  homestead  is  "Blakeford,"  patented  as  "Coursey's 
Neck"  in  1658  by  William  DeCourcy,  who,  with  his  brother  John, 
patented  "Cheston-on-Wye"  in  the  same  year.  Then,  also,  his  elder 
brother,  sometime  Secretary  of  the  Province,  Henry  DeCourcy,  was 
given  by  Lord  Baltimore  "Coursey's  Neck,"  which  passed  to  William, 
and  "My  Lord's  Gift,"  which  he  retained,  and  which  is  to  the  south 
of  the  present  "Blakeford"  and  just  across  Coursey's  Creek,  now 
known  as  Queenstown  Creek.    Passing  from  the  DeCourcys  to  the 



Blakes,  who  had  it  resurveyed  as  "Blake's  Fort,"  it  was  occupied 
for  a  while  during  the  Revolution  by  Judge  Solomon  Wright  of  the 
Court  of  Appeals,  (1778-Q2).  His  mother  had  been  Mary  DeCourcy. 
"Blakeford"  was  reacquired  by  the  son  of  Judge  Solomon  Wright  and 
Sarah  DeCourcy  of  "Cheston-on-Wye,"  Governor  Robert  Wright, 
Revolutionary  soldier.  United  States  Senator,  member  of  Congress 
and  Circuit  Judge.  He  was  great-grandfather  of  the  present  owner, 
DeCourcy  Wright  Thom. 

"Bloomingdale,"  devised  by  that  well-known  character.  Miss 
Sallie  Harris,  to  her  cousin,  the  chivalrous  and  elegant  scholar, 
reformer  and  gentleman,  Severn  Teackle  Wallis,  is  another  notable 
estate.    But  it  is  now  owned  by  Hiram  G.  Dudley. 

I  have  named  but  a  few  of  the  well-known  estates  of  old  Queen 
Anne's.  I  wish  I  could  mention  each  on  the  long  list  of  them.  Only 
two  more  can  I  take  room  for:  the  spacious  old  red  brick  "Pratt 
House,"  now  used  as  the  County  Almshouse,  and  the  well-known 
"Old  Point"  house  on  Kent  Island,  built  in  1 722  by  one  of  the  Cockey 
family,  some  of  whose  members  have  owned  it  ever  since. 

And  of  old  churches:  there  is  ancient  "Old  Wye,  '  perhaps  one  of 
the  oldest  church  buildings  in  Maryland;  and  St.  Luke's,  ancient,  too, 
at  Church  Hill. 

Not  only  these  old  estates  and  churches  are  vocal  with  illustra- 
tive doings  of  the  folk  of  old  Queen  Anne's  County  which  was  chris- 
tened after  "good  Queen  Anne."  Around  and  about  Kent  Island  from 
1634  through  1645  waged  the  Claiborne-Calvert  struggle,  and  the 
efforts  to  suppress  treason  on  the  Eastern  Shore  during  the  Revolu- 
tionary struggle  centered  around  Queenstown,  the  county-seat, 
whence  Judge  Solomon  Wright,  already  mentioned,  acting  by  authority 
of  the  convention  as  a  ''special  Judge  to  try  Treasons,"  attended  to 
that  work  when  not  serving  as  a  member  of  the  Revolutionary  Con- 
ventions in  Annapolis.  Meanwhile,  Matthew  Tilghman,  born  at 
"The  Hermitage,"  was  leading  all  the  patriotic  forces  of  the  Province 
as  president  of  those  conventions,  and  as  chairman  of  the  Committee 
of  Safety. 

And  literature  and  arms  have  shed  their  luster  on  the  old  county. 
Who  can  forget  the  trenchant  speeches  and  brilliant  writings  in  prose 
and  verse  of  the  gifted  Severn  Teackle  Wallis?  And  the  clever  writ- 



ings  of  Frederic  Emory,  born  at  "Bloomfield,"  now  owned  by  Col. 
John  H.  Evans,  and  deceased  at  "Blackbeard,"  were  good  and  numer- 
ous, whether  in  newspaper  or  in  novel  or  as  Secretary  of  the  Pan- 
American  Board  in  Washington.  Nor  can  I  forbear  to  mention  that 
quiet  gentleman  and  accomplished  scholar,  William  Hand  Browne, 
born  at  "Bachelor's  Hope"  and  deceased  in  Baltimore,  where  he  had 
long  successfully  filled  the  chair  of  history  at  Johns  Hopkins  Uni- 
versity. More  extended  histories  of  Maryland  there  are  than  his, 
but  none  surpass  it  in  accuracy  and  in  fine,  full  grasp  of  the  spirit  of 
our  State's  development. 

There  remains  to  me  to  mention  the  most  illustrious  of  Queen 
Anne's  soldiers.  Gen.  William  Hemsley  Emory,  U.S.  Army.  He  was 
born  at  "Poplar  Grove"  and  died  in  Washington.  Intending  to  follow 
his  State  and  having  to  return  from  Maryland  to  his  Western  com- 
mand, he  left  his  resignation  at  the  beginning  of  the  Civil  War  in  the 
hands  of  a  brother  whom  he  requested  to  forward  it  to  official  head- 
quarters in  Washington  should  Mai^yland  secede.  Misled  as  to  that 
secession,  the  brother  sent  the  resignation  forward.  The  Secretary  of 
War  caused  Emory  to  report  to  him  under  arrest  and  to  explain  his 
continuance  in  command  of  Federal  troops.  With  much  difficulty  he 
assuaged  the  official's  anger.  Emory  often  distinguished  himself  in 
the  Civil  War.  He  was  favorably  considered  as  a  possible  com- 
mander-in-chief. Secretary  of  War  Stanton  opposed  his  nomination 
to  that  great  office  and  vigorously  asseverated  that  the  record  of  his 
proffered  resignation  should  forever  bar  him  from  the  commander- 
ship-in-chief.    Such  are  a  few  of  our  worthies. 

But  I  have  too  long  lingered  in  the  telling  of  the  story  of  the 
county  I  love  so  well.  Is  the  Eastern  Shore  the  modern  Eden  so  often 
mentioned  in  the  kindly  badinage  of  the  day?  Who  shall  say  us  nay? 
But  this  I  can  avouch,  that  in  fulness  of  opportunities  to  be  availed 
of  at  most  moderate  prices,  there  is  no  portion  of  that  laughing  region 
which  more  than  Queen  Anne's  County  deserves  the  title  of  "The 
Promised  Land." 


Grant  1659 

RICHARD  TILGHMAN,  an  eminent  surgeon  of  London  and 
.  grandson  of  William  Tilghman,  the  elder,  emigrated  to  Mary- 
land in  1660.  By  a  patent  granted  to  him  January  17,  1659,  he  came 
into  possession  of  a  manor  on  Chester  River,  where  he  settled  and 
called  his  residence  "Tilghman"s  Hermitage." 

While  the  original  grant  to  Richard  Tilghman,  the  immigrant 
from  Cecilius  Calvert  called  for  400  acres,  "The  Hermitage"  was 
extended  to  cover  many  times  that  area.  From  an  old  map  in  the 
possession  of  Miss  Williams,  made  in  the  days  when  Richard  Cooke 
Tilghman  occupied  "The  Hermitage,"  the  adjacent  lands  were  occu- 
pied by  the  several  branches  of  the  Tilghman  family,  as  follows: 

"Waverley,"  by  William  Cooke  Tilghman;  "Greenwood,"  by 
Henry  Cooke  Tilghman;  "Piney  Point,"  by  James  Cooke  Tilghman; 
"Oakleigh,"  by  John  Charles  Tilghman. 

"The  Hermitage"  may  properly  be  referred  to  as  the  show-place 
of  Queen  Anne's  County.  As  you  enter  the  estate  the  drive  up  to 
the  mansion  passes  for  about  a  mile  through  an  avenue  of  enormous 
pines:  the  Chester  River  appears  in  the  distance  through  the  vista. 

A  gracefully  curved  cinder  road  shaded  by  giants  of  the  forest 



guides  you  to  the  mansion.  At  "The  Hermitage"  once  lived  Matthew 
Tilghman,  chairman  of  the  Council  of  Safety,  (1775),  and  a  Delegate 
in  the  Continental  Congress. 

The  present  owner,  Miss  Susan  Williams,  is  a  direct  descendant 
of  the  immigrant,  being  of  the  seventh  generation  in  the  female  line, 
her  great-grandmother,  Mrs.  William  Cooke,  formerly  Elizabeth 
Tilghman,  having  been  the  sister  of  Richard  Tilghman  V,  commonly 
called  "the  Colonel,"  who  adopted  as  his  heir  her  son  upon  condition 
that  he  would  add  Tilghman  to  his  name.  Colonel  Tilghman's  only 
son,  Richard  VL  having  predeceased  his  father  one  year.  Hence 
Richard  Cooke,  (the  Colonel's  nephew),  became  first  of  the  branch  to 
be  known  henceforth  as  the  Cooke-Tilghmans.  Miss  Williams'  grand- 
mother was  a  sister  of  Richard  Cooke  Tilghman,  and  the  peculiarity 
of  the  double  coincidence  lies  in  the  fact  that,  whereas  the  inheritance 
of  "The  Hermitage'  came  to  this  branch  through  a  female,  so  by  a 
strange  irony  of  fate  the  line  becomes  extinct  through  the  single 
blessedness  of  a  female. 

Within  a  few  feet  of  the  front  porch  of  "The  Hermitage"  is  the 
Tilghman  family  burying  ground,  in  which  the  large  marble  slabs 
are  shaded  by  weeping  willows.  In  this  beautifully  kept  resting  place 
of  the  dead  are  buried  Dr.  Richard  Tilghman,  the  immigrant,  and  a 
long  line  of  descendants. 



Built  about  1731 

THE  Chester  River,  which  ranks  with  the  Choptank  and  the  Miles 
in  size  and  picturesqueness,  washes  the  shores  of  Kent  and  Queen 
Anne's  Counties.  Opposite  Hail  Point,  where  the  Chester  makes  a 
sharp  bend  and  flows  northerly,  is  Queenstown  Creek.  On  the  Queen 
Anne's  side  of  the  river  there  are  many  noted  estates  visible  from  a 
boat  going  up  the  river.  "Blakeford,"  "The  Hermitage,"  "Reed's 
Creek,"  "Recovery,"  "Winton"  and  "Conquest"  are  passed  before 
Deep  Point  is  reached.  Here  the  Chester  River  narrows  down  to 
about  a  mile  in  width.  Just  above  Deep  Point  is  "Indiantown,"  one 
of  the  Emory  homes,  and  it  is  claimed  to  have  been  the  location  of  an 
Indian  village.  About  two  miles  above  this  point,  situated  on  a  ridge 
which  runs  parallel  with  and  overlooks  Chester  River,  is  "Read- 
bourne,"  which  was  the  HoUyday  homestead  in  Queen  Anne's  for 
many  generations. 

The  original  grant  of  "Readbourne"  plantation  was  to  George 
Read  in  1659,  and  it  is  thought  the  name  was  taken  from  the  first 
owner.    Records  state  that  he  died  without  heirs  and,  after  being 

I  iq 


several  times  transferred,  the  plantation  was  bought  by  Col.  James 
Hollyday,  (son  of  Col.  Thomas  Hollyday  and  Mary  Truman,  of  Eng- 
land), who  had  it  resurveyed  in  1682.  The  acreage  is  not  given,  but  it 
is  supposed  to  have  been  2,000,  and  included  several  of  the  farms 
lying  adjacent.  In  1733  Col.  James  Hollyday  with  his  wife,  Sarah 
Covington  Lloyd,  (widow  of  Edward  Lloyd,  of  "Wye  House,"  and 
formerly  the  beautiful  Sarah  Covington),  came  to  this  estate  from 
Talbot  County  to  make  it  their  home  and  built  about  1 73 1  the  main 
part  of  the  present  mansion.  The  family  story  goes  that  Colonel 
Hollyday  went  to  England  for  materials  for  building  and  furnishing 
the  new  house,  while  Mrs.  Hollyday  remained  on  the  plantation  with 
her  family  to  supervise  the  building,  having  herself  planned  it  after 
consulting  with  Lord  Baltimore. 

The  original  building  is  colonial  in  architecture  and  finish,  with 
very  large  wainscoted  hall  and  rooms.  It  has  at  various  times  been 
added  to  and  altered,  but  the  main  part  is  still  the  same  that  made  a 
home  through  168  years  for  seven  generations  of  the  Hollyday  family. 
Brick  foundations  of  smaller  buildings  can  be  traced  in  the  lawn  and 
are  probably  those  of  the  kitchen  and  dairy,  which  were  connected 
by  covered  ways  with  the  dwelling.  There  still  remain  ruins  of  one  of 
these  buildings,  known  as  the  "Old  Store,"  supposed  to  be  those  of  a 
storehouse  for  supplies  ordered  from  England,  which  had  to  be  gotten 
in  quantity  because  of  the  infrequent  opportunity.  In  the  old  wall 
which  probably  inclosed  the  riverside  lawn  are  bricks  of  English 
pattern,  which,  like  those  in  the  upper  walls  of  the  original  building, 
are  traditionally  supposed  to  have  been  brought  from  abroad  by 
Colonel  Hollyday.  Less  than  half  of  one  side  of  the  lawn  wall  is 
now  standing. 

The  last  of  the  Hollyday  family  to  own  and  live  at  "Readbourne" 
was  the  late  Richard  Hollyday,  whose  daughter,  Margaret,  married 
Dr.  James  Bordley,  Jr.,  of  Baltimore,  who  was  the  second  President 
of  the  Eastern  Shore  Society  of  Baltimore  City.  In  iqo3  "Read- 
bourne"  was  sold  to  John  M.  Perry,  of  Queen  Anne's  County,  a  mem- 
ber of  the  State  Roads  Commission  under  Governor  Goldsborough. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Perry  make  "Readbourne"  their  summer  home. 


.":'%  V  .'■♦* 

Built  1722 

KENT  Island !  What  a  wealth  of  legendary  lore  and  of  interesting 
historical  stories  have  been  told  of  this  old  island,  the  place  of 
the  first  settlement  made  in  the  State  of  Maryland ! 

Like  a  flash  the  mention  of  Kent  Island  brings  Claiborne  and  his 
endeavors  to  your  mind.  And  with  him  come  visions  of  a  host  of 
Indians  in  canoes  with  beaver  and  otter  skins,  of  squaws  with 
papooses.  The  pipe  of  peace,  the  stories  told  by  the  Indians  about 
the  big  game  of  the  forests  and  about  the  "Mother  of  Waters" — the 
Chesapeake.  You  see  the  barges  of  the  Proprietary  approach  the 
island  to  subdue  Claiborne's  insubordination,  at  which  time  the  flag 
of  the  Baltimores  was  first  flown  aloft  on  a  military  errand.  These 
and  countless  other  incidents  pass  in  quick  succession  as  you  recall 
from  the  past  the  colonial  days  of  old  Kent  Island. 

In  163Q  a  court  was  held  in  Kent  Fort.  In  1640,  1,000  acres, 
called  "Kent  Fort  Manor,"  was  surveyed  for  Giles  Brent.  Upon  the 
building  of  a  tobacco  warehouse  on  Coxe's  Creek  and  the  establishing 

[12.]  ■ 


of  a  town  in  1684  by  Act  of  the  Colonial  Assembly  on  that  branch  of 
Eastern  Bay  that  part  of  the  island  became  thickly  settled. 

Among  the  first  settlers  here  were  the  Eareckson,  Carvil,  Kemp, 
Legg,  Tolson,  Cockey,  Stevens,  Weedon,  Denny,  Bright,  Skinner, 
Chew,  Cray,  Bryan,  Winchester,  Wright,  White,  Price,  Thompson, 
Sadler  (now  spelled  Sudler),  Ringgold,  Goodhand  and  Osborne  families 
and  many  others  that  have  died  out. 

One  of  the  early  settlers,  Capt.  Edward  Cockey,  whose  house  is 
still  standing  and  now  the  home  of  William  Tristram  Stevens,  took 
up,  1685,  a  large  tract  of  land  on  Coxe's  Creek.  It  is  said  that  his  first 
wife.  Miss  Ball,  was  the  sister  of  Gen.  George  Washington's  mother, 
but  from  this  marriage  there  was  no  issue.  He  married,  secondly  the 
widow  Harris  {nee  Ringgold),  and  from  this  union  all  the  Cockeys  of 
the  Eastern  Shore  are  descended.  Their  son,  John  Cockey,  a  captain 
in  the  British  Army,  who  resigned  his  commission  at  the  time  of  the 
American  Revolution,  married  Miss  Sudler.  He  built  "Old  Point"  in 
1722,  this  date  being  set  in  one  of  the  gables  of  this  very  oldest  of 
the  Kent  Island  colonial  houses.  This  home  is  now  owned  by  John 
Cockey,  a  direct  descendant  of  Capt.  Edward  Cockey.  Thus  it  will 
be  seen  that  "Old  Point"  has  been  in  this  family  for  230  years. 

Close  to  the  "Old  Point "  property  Matthew  Read  had  surveyed 
for  him  "Batts'  Neck,"  which  property  descended  to  Joseph  Sudler 
and  was  left  by  him  to  his  wife,  in  whose  possession  it  was  in  1742, 
as  shown  by  the  rent  rolls  of  that  year. 

[  12^] 

Patented  1658 

OVERLOOKING  the  broadest  part  of  Chester  River  through  a 
grove  of  stately  forest  trees,  well  placed  on  a  spacious  lawn, 
is  "Blakeford."  This  noted  homestead  of  Queen  Anne's  is  situated 
directly  on  Chester  River  and  Queenstown  Creek  and  is  owned  by 
W.  H.  DeCourcy  Wright  Thorn,  of  Baltimore  and  Queen  Anne's 

The  special  interest  of  these  old  places  on  the  Eastern  Shore  is 
their  individualities  and  the  manner  of  the  first  ownership  of  "Blake- 
ford  "  is  of  unusual  note.  Secretary  of  the  Province  Henry  DeCourcy 
had  proved  staunch  and  loyal  during  certain  disturbances  in  the 
Province  and  had  also  effected  a  certain  treaty  with  the  Susquehannah 
Indians  of  the  Iroquois  Confederacy.  In  recognition,  Charles,  third 
Lord  Baltimore,  gave  to  Henry  DeCourcy  as  much  land  shown  on  a 
certain  map  as  he  could  cover  with  his  thumb.  The  extreme  tip  of 
the  thumb  covered  that  part  of  the  present  "Blakeford"  which  was 
called  "Courcy's  Neck,"  the  rest  of  it  covered  "My  Lord's  Gift," 
stretching  from  the  entrance  of  Queenstown  harbor  to  the  south. 
Retaining  "My  Lord's  Gift,  "  Henry  DeCourcy  allowed  his  brother, 
William,  to  patent  "Courcy's  Neck."    William  retained  it  until  he 

[  1^3  ] 


sold  it  to  the  Blakes  upon  acquiring  from  his  brother,  John  DeCourcy, 
his  half  of  "Cheston-on-Wye,"  which  they  had  taken  up  together. 

The  Blake  of  that  day  had  "Courcy's  Neck"  and  two  other  tracts 
resurveyed  under  the  name  of  '  'Blake's  Fort. ' '  That  militant-sounding 
title  came  from  the  yet  existing  old  earthworks  fortification  on  the 
Chester  River  side  of  the  southwesternmost  extension  of  "Blakeford," 
as  the  name  became  through  popular  usage,  because  between  it  and 
"My  Lord's  Gift,"  just  across  the  harbor  entrance,  there  was  at  low 
tide  an  available  ford.  The  old  fort  was  used  in  Indian  times,  in 
Revolutionary  days  and  during  the  War  of  1812. 

During  part  of  the  War  of  the  Revolution  Judge  Solomon  Wright, 
(1717-1792),  son  of  County  Judge  Solomon  Wright  and  Mary 
DeCourcy,  discharged  from  "Blakeford,"  so  favorably  near  Queens- 
town,  then  the  county-seat,  his  duties  as  "special  Judge  to  try 
Treasons  on  the  Eastern  Shore."  He  was  a  member  of  the  Conven- 
tions of  Maryland ;  a  signer  of  the  original  Declaration  of  Freemen  of 
Maryland,  and  a  Judge  of  the  Court  of  Appeals  of  Maryland  from 
its  creation  in  1778  till  he  died  in  1792.  He  left  a  very  large  landed 
estate.  His  son,  Robert,  fourteenth  Governor  of  Maryland,  (1806- 
i8oq),  twice  re-elected,  was  born  November  20,  1752,  and  died  at 
"Blakeford,"  September  7,  1826.  He  first  practiced  law  in  Chester- 
town  and  afterward  in  Queenstown.  He  was  a  private  in  Captain 
Kent's  company  of  Minute  Men.  After  serving  in  the  Maryland 
Legislature  he  was  elected  United  States  Senator  in  1 80 1 ,  and  resigned 
in  1806,  when  elected  Governor.  He  was  a  Representative  in  the 
Eleventh,  Twelfth,  Thirteenth,  Fourteenth  and  Seventeenth  Con- 
gresses. In  1823  he  became  Associate  Judge  of  the  Second  District. 
His  wife  was  a  distant  cousin,  Sarah  DeCourcy,  of  "Cheston-on-Wye." 

The  next  Wright  to  own  "Blakeford"  was  his  son,  W.  H.  De- 
Courcy Wright,  born  at  "Blakeford,"  September  q,  1705;  died  in 
Baltimore,  March  25,  1864.  His  earlier,  and  much  of  his  later,  life 
was  spent  at  his  dearly-loved  "Blakeford."  He  was  appointed  United 
States  Consul  at  Rio  de  Janeiro  in  1825,  and  so  served  for  many- 
successive  years.  His  daughter,  Clintonia  Wright,  widow  of  Captain 
William  May,  U.S.  Navy,  and  afterward  wife  of  Governor  Philip 
Francis  Thomas,  succeeded  him  at  "Blakeford."  It  is  now  in  the 
keeping  of  his  grandson,  W.  H.  DeCourcy  Wright  Thom. 

[  124] 

Built  1681-85 

Built   1775 

ON  the  peninsula  which  bears  the  name  of  Wright's  Neck  and 
washed  by  the  confluent  Reed's  and  Grove  Creeks,  tributaries 
of  Chester  River,  are  two  delightfully  situated  homesteads  of  the 
Wright  family — "Walnut  Grove"  and  "Reed's  Creek."  These  old 
houses  are  located  on  the  land  which  was  patented  by  Solomon 
Wright  in  1685.  That  land  had  been  originally  taken  up  by  his 
father-in-law,  Thomas  Hynson,  but  Solomon  Wright  had  it  resur- 
veyed  in  1685  as  "Worplesdon." 

Solomon  Wright  was  born  in  England  in  1655  and  died  in  Mary- 
land in  1 7 1 7.  He  married  Anne  Hynson.  Records  show  that  when  he 
died  he  was  possessed  of  2,000  acres  of  land  and  had  been  one  of  the 
leading  men  of  his  county  and  Province,  having  served  as  a  Justice 
of  the  County  Court  in  1707  and  1708,  as  vestryman  and  warden  of 
St.  Paul's  Parish  in  i6q8,  and  as  a  member  of  the  Assembly  at  Annap- 
olis from  Kent  and  Queen  Anne's  Counties  from  1708  to  17 15. 

"The  Walnut  Grove"  house  is  undoubtedly  the  oldest  house  in  the 
county,  it  having  been  built  between  1681  and  1685.   While  it  is  very 



quaint  and  odd  on  the  outside  the  interior  is  beautifully  finished.  This 
building  with  its  farm  descended  to  Solomon  Wright's  eldest  son, 
Thomas  Hynson  Wright,  (1688- 1747),  and  came  down  through  suc- 
cessive generations  of  his  Wright  descendants  to  the  late  Thomas 
Wright,  by  whose  widow,  now  Mrs.  William  McKenney,  Sr.,  it  is  held. 
The  "Reed's  Creek"  house,  which  is  situated  near  the  end  of  the 
Wright's  Neck  peninsula,  and  from  which  there  is  an  extended  view 
over  Reed's  Creek  and  Chester  River,  was  built  by  Col.  Thomas 
Wright  about  1775.  The  disturbances  of  the  time  seriously  affected 
the  fortunes  of  Col.  Thomas  Wright.  In  addition  to  being  commandant 
of  a  military  regiment  of  Queen  Anne's  County  in  1776  he  held  the 
following  offices:  Delegate  to  the  Provincial  Conventions  of  1774- 
76:  member  of  the  Committee  of  Correspondence,  1774,  and  a 
signer  of  the  Association  of  the  Freemen  of  Maryland  of  1775.  At 
the  death  of  Colonel  Wright  his  son  and  namesake  inherited  the 
property  and  lived  there  until  his  death  in  1835.  He  was  succeeded 
as  master  of  "Reed's  Creek"  by  his  sixth  child  and  fourth  son, 
Richard  Alexander  Wright.  At  the  present  time  "Reed's  Creek"  is 
owned  by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Clayton  Wright,  of  Centerville,  who  are 
representatives  of  its  first  owners  in  Maryland  history  and  in  whose 
hands  a  revival  of  its  old-time  family  characteristics  may  be  expected. 



Patented  1665 

A  BEAUTIFUL  tributary  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay  which  attracted 
many  of  the  early  settlers  is  the  Wye  River.  After  passing 
Bennett's  Point,  upon  entering  "The  Wye,"  and  the  long  and  his- 
torical peninsula  of  the  Bennett  estate,  this  river  separates  and  forms 
a  "Y."  The  south  prong,  known  as  "Front  Wye,"  and  the  north 
prong,  known  as  "Back  Wye,"  bound  the  north  and  south  sides  of 
Bordley's  or  Paca's  Island.  On  the  north  prong  are  some  noted 
estates,  among  which  are  "Wye,"  "Wye  Island"  and  "Cheston-on- 
Wye."  At  the  head  of  the  northeast  branch  of  "Back  Wye"  is  sit- 
uated one  of  the  finest  brick  colonial  residences  in  Queen  Anne's 
County,  "Bloomingdale."  This  property  was  orginally  patented  by 
Capt.  Robert  Morris  under  the  name  of  "Mount  Mill"  by  letters 
patent  issued  on  June  7,  1665. 

In  1684  the  tract  was  acquired  by  Jacob  Seth,  who  added  to  the 
property  by  purchase,  making  it  two  miles  square.  Jacob  Seth  occu- 
pied the  property  until  his  death  in  i6q8,  and  by  his  will  devised 
it  to  his  son,  John,  with  a  provision  that  if  John  died  without  descen- 



dants  it  should  go  to  his  son,  Charles.  John  died  before  reaching 
maturity  and  the  property  was  occupied  by  Charles  until  his  death  in 
1737-  Jacob  Seth  married,  in  1676,  Barbara  Beckwith,  a  daughter  of 
Capt.  George  Beckwith  and  Frances  Harvey.  They  resided  on  a 
tract  of  land  on  the  Patuxent  River  in  St.  Mary's  County  which  had 
been  granted  to  Nicholas  Harvey,  the  father  of  Frances  Beckwith. 
Nicholas  Harvey  came  into  the  Province  with  Leonard  Calvert  in 
1634.  Charles  Seth  by  will  devised  the  property  to  his  sons,  John, 
James,  Charles  and  Jacob.  Jacob,  by  subsequent  purchases,  became 
the  owner  of  the  whole  tract,  and  at  his  death  it  went  to  his  oldest 
son  and  heir-at-law,  Thomas  Johnings  Seth,  who  died  about  1820 
without  descendants,  and  the  property  was  sold  by  a  trustee  in  chan- 
cery to  Edward  Harris,  whose  heirs,  Mary  and  Sallie  Harris,  became 
the  owners  of  this  estate  at  his  death  and  rechristened  it  "Blooming- 
dale."  Sallie,  the  surviving  sister,  willed  it  to  her  cousin,  Severn 
Teackle  Wallis,  and  he  to  his  nephew,  who  sold  it  to  Hiram  G.  Dudley 
of  Baltimore  City,  the  present  owner. 

There  are  several  very  old  buildings  on  the  property  of  brick 
construction,  notably  the  miller's  house.  The  present  residence  was 
reconstructed  in  1 792,  during  the  ownership  of  Thomas  Johnings  Seth. 
The  mill  on  the  property  during  the  ownership  of  the  Seths  was  known 
as  "Seth's  Mill,"  and  later,  after  the  estate  passed  from  the  hands  of 
the  Seth  family,  it  has  been  known  as  the  "Sallie  Harris  Mill." 

Paca's  Island  was  the  home  of  Governor  William  Paca,  a  native 
of  Harford,  one  of  the  signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence, 
and  an  eminent  Maryland  jurist,  who  died  at  ''Wye  Hall"  in  1799. 
The  two  Governors  of  Maryland  elected  from  Queen  Anne's  were 
Robert  Wright,  (12  November,  1806-6  May,  i8oq);  and  William 
Grason,  (7  January,  1839-3  January,  1842),  the  latter  being  the 
first  Maryland  Chief  Executive  chosen  by  popular  vote  under  the 
amended  Constitution  of  1838,  in  succession  to  Veazey.  James 
Butcher,  (6  May,  i8oq-q  June,  1809),  is  the  third  Queen  Anne's 
countian  in  the  list  of  Governors. 


Now  Queen  Anne's  County  Almshouse 

SITUATED  about  ten  miles  from  Centerville,  the  county-seat  of 
Queen  Anne's  County,  and  just  beyond  the  village  of  Ruthsburg, 
is  the  "Old  Pratt  Mansion,"  now  occupied  as  a  county  almshouse. 
The  first  colonist  who  owned  the  ground  upon  which  this  house  stands 
was  Christopher  Cross  Routh,  who  accumulated  much  personalty 
and  a  wide  extent  of  landed  property  in  his  lifetime.  In  his  will,  dated 
February  17,  1775,  which  was  made  one  year  before  his  death,  he 
named  Henry  Pratt,  his  son-in-law,  the  beneficiary  of  his  estate. 

Henry  Pratt  and  his  son,  also  Henry  Pratt,  added  many  acres 
to  the  Routh  holdings;  it  was  said  that  they  could  drive  seven  miles 
in  the  direction  of  Centerville  without  getting  off  their  own  land. 
The  Pratts  were  very  patriotic  during  the  Revolution,  and  they  con- 
tributed largely  of  their  means  to  further  the  interest  of  the  Continen- 
tal Army.  They  also  fitted  out  ships  to  trade  with  France  during  the 
War  of  181 2. 

This  house  was  built  prior  to  the  issuing  of  the  Declaration  of 
Independence.   Over  the  front  door  are  seen  today  thirteen  stars,  but 

f.  1^9] 


It  is  not  known  just  when  these  stars  were  placed  there.  The  house, 
from  oral  tradition,  was  some  time  in  course  of  construction,  but  when 
it  was  completed  a  celebration  was  held  which  lasted  three  days  and 
three  nights.  The  guests  came  from  Kent,  Caroline,  Talbot  and  Queen 
Anne's,  and  were  entertained  in  the  mansion  house  and  by  neighbor- 
ing planters.  Fox  hunting,  horse  racing,  dancing,  feasting,  and  the 
whole  round  of  rural  pleasures  were  extended  their  guests  by  the 
Pratts.  Coach  driving  with  wild  colts,  as  well  as  high-bred  horses 
trained  to  harness,  was  a  popular  sport  in  those  days,  and  was  espe- 
cially enjoyed  by  Henry  Pratt. 

The  mansion  house  was  exquisitely  furnished.  Mahogany,  cut 
glass  and  silver  were  brought  from  England  and  much  of  it  is  now 
in  existence  in  the  county  and  can  be  traced  as  once  gracing  the  "Old 
Pratt  Mansion."  Henry  Pratt  died  in  1783,  and  his  son,  who  suc- 
ceeded to  the  property,  lived  until  about  i8oq.  The  third  Henry  Pratt 
who  owned  the  estate  was  a  lavish  spender  and  seemed  to  have  missed 
inheriting  his  ancestors'  ability  to  acquire  and  hold  property.  About 
1832  the  place  passed  from  his  hands  and  was  purchased  by  the 
county,  and  has  been  used  since  as  the  county  almshouse. 

There  had  been  erected  in  this  house  what  is  called  a  "sounding 
post" — a  contrivance  with  a  vacuum  arrangement  which  carried  the 
sound  of  a  whisper  made  in  the  hall  below  to  the  bedroom  of  the 
owner.  Before  the  last  Henry  Pratt  vacated  the  property  he  declared 
that  nobody  else  should  have  the  advantage  of  this  contrivance,  so  he 
pulled  out  his  pistol  and  shot  a  bullet  through  the  post  and  the  bullet- 
hole  can  be  seen  in  what  remains  of  the  post  at  the  present  time. 

Ellen  Pratt,  daughter  of  the  last  owner,  was  born  and  married  to 
Madison  Brown  in  this  house.  She  was  the  mother  of  Congressman 
John  B.  Brown,  Judge  Edwin  H.  Brown,  Rev.  Joel  Brown  and  Mrs. 
James  Bordley,  wife  of  the  late  Dr.  James  Bordley,  of  Centerville. 

Descendants  of  the  original  board  of  trustees  of  this  county  insti- 
tution of  Queen  Anne's  have  served  on  the  board,  and  the  present 
trustees  are  James  Brown,  president;  W.  H.  Gibson,  vice-president; 
William  McKenney,  secretary  and  treasurer;  C.  P.  Merrick,  James  T. 
Bright,  Frank  A.  Emory,  R.  B.  Carmichael,  J.  Frank  Harper,  Samuel 
A.  Wallen  and  James  E.  Kirwan.  Edwin  H.  Brown,  Jr.,  is  counsel, 
and  William  Jester,  superintendent. 




POPLAR  GROVE,"  the  homestead  of  the  Emory  family  for  the 
past  five  generations,  is  located  in  Spaniard's  Neck,  Queen  Anne's 
County,  on  the  northern  side  of  Corsica  River  and  Emory's  Creek. 
The  estate  originally  contained  about  i,ooo  acres.  Its  northerly 
boundary  was  "Readbourne,"  the  old  Hollyday  estate  on  Chester 
River.  Just  what  year  the  "Poplar  Grove"  house  was  built  is  not 
known,  but  it  must  have  been  early  in  the  eighteenth  century. 

There  seems  to  have  been  three  distinct  branches  of  the  Emory 
family  in  Queen  Anne's  County.  The  "Poplar  Grove"  or  Spaniard's 
Neck  branch;  the  Queenstown  branch,  and  the  East  of  Centerville 
branch.  Each  branch  of  this  family  has  turned  out  prominent  men. 
Of  the  East  of  Centerville  branch  came  Judge  D.  C.  Hopper  Emory  of 
Lutherville,  Baltimore  County,  Arthur  Emory,  J.  K.  B.  Emory,  and 
W.  H.  Emory,  commission  merchants,  Baltimore  City,  Arthur  Emory 
was  born  at  "The  Hut,"  a  farm  near  Centerville.  The  Queenstown 
Emorys  owned  and  lived  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  the  heirs  of  Dr. 
Thomas  Willson,  which  is  situated  adjacent  to  and  is  said  to  have 
included  the  "Hemsley  Farm,"  owned  by  Hiram  G.  Dudley. 

The  remains  of  William  James  Emory  rest  in  the  old  Emory 



burying  ground.  Daniel  Grant  Emory,  Dr.  Richard  Emory  and  the 
late  Dr.  Thomas  Hall  Emory  of  Harford  County  were  descendants 
of  this  branch. 

Many  men  of  distinction  came  from  the  "Poplar  Grove"  branch 
of  Emory s:  Gen.  Thomas  Emory,  an  officer  in  the  War  of  1812,  Col. 
John  R.  Emory,  who  served  in  the  Florida  Indian  War  under  Gen.  Joe 
Johnston;  Frank  Emory,  of  "Conquest" ;  Addison  Emory,  of  "Ruth's 
Hollow";  Edward  Bourke  Emory,  of  "Poplar  Grove";  John  Emory, 
of  "Ashland,"  and  John  Register  Emory,  of  Washington. 

Another  estate  associated  with  the  Emory  family  and  one  of  the 
most  attractive  old  places  in  Queen  Anne's  is  "Bloomfield,"  which  is 
situated  on  the  State  Road  between  Centerville  and  Church  Hill. 
The  "Bloomfield"  house  was  built  by  William  Young  Bourke  not 
later  than  1760.  This  Bourke  married  Eliza  Anne  Gray,  and  their 
daughter  Anne  married  Richard  Harrison  but  died  without  issue  and 
the  estate  was  inherited  by  Mary  Bourke,  who  married  Blanchard 
Emory,  of  "Poplar  Grove,"  in  1852.  Mrs.  Emory,  who  raised  a  large 
family  of  children,  was  an  authoress,  and  wrote  "Colonial  Families 
and  Their  Descendants."  In  1893  the  old  estate  was  sold  to  Richard 
Earle  Davidson,  of  Queenstown.  "Bloomfield"  is  now  the  property  of 
John  H.  Evans,  a  prominent  citizen  of  Queen  Anne's  County. 

[  132] 

Antedating  Revolution 

THIS  homestead  is  located  two  and  a  half  miles  from  Centerville, 
the  county-seat  of  Queen  Anne's  County,  on  Tilghman's  Creek, 
overlooking  the  Chester  and  the  Corsica  rivers. 

"Melfield"  originally  belonged  to  Judge  James  Tilghman  of  "The 
Hermitage."  The  house  which  stands  today,  shown  in  the  picture, 
was  begun  prior  to  the  Revolutionary  War.  Its  architectural  appear- 
ance supports  a  tradition  that  only  one  section  was  completed  when 
the  disturbed  conditions  in  the  province  stopped  the  work.  The  first 
part  erected  was  evidently  intended  for  a  library,  and  is  of  English 
brick.  The  walls  are  several  feet  in  thickness  and  the  doors  have 
large  brass  locks  bearing  the  British  coat-of-arms. 

"Melfield"  became  the  property  of  the  Earles  through  the  wife 
of  Judge  Richard  Tilghman  Earle,  Mary  Tilghman,  a  daughter  of 
Judge  James  Tilghman.  This  estate  originally  contained  over  i,ioo 
acres  and  included  "Headlong  Hall,"  a  Tilghman  farm  of  365  acres, 
now  owned  by  Mr.  Clapp,  of  New  York.  This  old  home  was  one  of 
a  chain  of  places  owned  by  Judge  Earle.    His  summer  home  was 

[  133  ] 


"Winton,"  which  is  situated  directly  on  Chester  River  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Corsica  River  and  has  been  in  the  Earle  family  for  more  than  a 
century.  By  a  deed  recorded  in  the  Land  Records  of  Talbot  County, 
dated  July  21,  1666,  Edward  Lloyd,  of  "Wye  House,"  conveyed 
"Winton"  to  his  son-in-law,  Henry  Hawkins.  In  i66q  Henry  Hawkins 
sold  "Winton"  to  Nathaniel  Evitt  for  6,000  pounds  of  tobacco.  Three 
years  later  Evitt  sold  "Winton"  to  Richard  Tilghman,  then  high 
sheriff  of  the  county,  and  it  remained  in  the  Tilghman  family  until 
the  death  of  Judge  James  Tilghman  and  became  the  portion  of  his 
daughter  Mary,  who  married  Judge  Richard  Tilghman  Earle.  Rich- 
ard Tilghman  Earle,  a  grandson  of  Judge  Earle,  died  in  1914,  and 
"Winton"  was  sold  the  following  year  and  was  purchased  by  Stuart 
Olivier  and  Charles  Morris  Howard,  of  Baltimore  City,  Milton  Camp- 
bell, of  "The  Anchorage,"  Talbot,  and  Swepson  Earle,  of  Queen 
Anne's.  The  "Winton"  house  was  modeled  after  the  "White  House" 
and  was  destroyed  by  fire  a  decade  ago. 

"Needwood,"  another  place  owned  by  Judge  Earle,  is  situated 
about  a  mile  from  Centerville  and  was  his  winter  home.  After  his 
death  it  became  the  home  of  James  Tilghman  Earle,  who  represented 
Queen  Anne's  in  the  Maryland  Senate  at  the  sessions  of  1865-74. 
After  Mr.  Earle's  death  "Needwood"  was  purchased  by  the  late 
William  McKenny,  of  Queen  Anne's  County. 

In  18 1 2,  when  the  British  were  reported  coming  up  Chester  River, 
Peregrine  Tilghman  moved  his  family  from  "Recovery,"  now  owned 
by  Thomas  J.  Keating,  to  "Melfield"  for  safety.  He  joined  the 
Queenstown  Company  and  was  in  the  engagement  at  "Slippery 
Hill."  Capt.  James  Tilghman  was  born  while  his  mother,  Harriett 
Tilghman,  was  at  "Melfield." 

Samuel  Thomas  Earle  lived  sixty-eight  years  at  "Melfield,"  the 
place  having  been  given  him  by  his  father.  Judge  Earle,  when  he  was 
a  young  man.  Until  his  death  in  1904  he  resided  on  the  estate,  where 
he  raised  a  large  family  of  children.  His  surviving  children  were  Mrs. 
Mary  Feddeman,  Mrs.  E.  M.  Forman  and  William  Brundige  Earle, 
of  Queen  Anne's  County,  and  Dr.  Samuel  T.  Earle,  of  Baltimore 
City.  "Melfield" was  then  divided  into  two  farms;  the  home  place  is 
owned  by  the  widow  of  William  B.  Earle,  Louisa  Stubbs  Earle,  and 
the  outer  part,  which  is  called  "Chatfield,"  by  Dr.  Samuel  T.  Earle. 

[  134] 



IT  was  not  until  250  years  after  Columbus'  fruitful  voyage  of  1492 
that  the  struggling,  though  ever-increasing,  population  which  at 
first  clung  to  the  watercourses  and  bays  of  the  lower  Eastern  Shore 
in  this  territory  had  become  sufficiently  numerous  and  influential  to 
demand  and  receive  consideration  from  the  Provincial  Assembly. 
During  the  reign  of  George  II,  in  the  year  1742,  when  nearly  all  of 
Europe  was  then,  as  now,  at  war,  we  find  that  the  Provincial  Assembly, 
in  acknowledged  deference  to  the  petition  of  certain  inhabitants  of 
our  parent  county,  Somerset,  serenely  set  aside  of  its  woods,  rivers, 
swamps,  small  lots  of  cleared  land  and  ocean  shore  a  new  county  and 
called  it  Worcester. 

The  boundaries  of  the  present  Worcester  County  were  definitely 
fixed  by  the  Act  of  1742,  and  so  remained,  save  for  the  boundary 
adjustment  many  years  later  with  Virginia,  until  the  Constitution 
framed  by  the  Convention  of  1867  took  away  the  northern  portion 
of  Somerset  and  the  western  portion  of  Worcester  to  form  Wicomico. 
After  that  diminution  Worcester  County  remains  with  an  area  of 
475  square  miles.  It  extends  from  Mason  and  Dixon's  Line,  forming 
the  southern  boundary  of  Delaware,  south  to  the  State  of  Virginia, 
and  fronts  and  bounds  on  the  east  upon  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  a  distance 
of  nearly  fifty  miles.  The  true  location  of  the  boundaries  between 
Worcester  County,  Maryland,  and  Accomac  County,  Virginia,  was 
for  two  centuries  unsettled.  The  dispute  between  the  States  of  Mary- 
land and  Virginia  as  to  the  interstate  boundary  was  finally  submitted 
to  arbitration  and  determined  in  1877  by  Jeremiah  S.  Black,  of 
Pennsylvania,  and  Charles  J.  Jenkins,  of  Georgia,  arbitrators  selected 
by  the  two  States. 

Probably  the  earliest  settlements  in  what  is  now  Worcester  County 
were  about  1658,  and  were  made  by  pioneers  from  Accomac  and  also 
direct  from  England.   These  emigrants  were  later  followed  by  fugitive 



Acadians,  (1755).  The  waterways  naturally  furnished  the  only  con- 
venient means  of  transportation  in  early  times.  The  labor  of  clearing 
away  dense  woods  preliminary  to  any  farming,  the  fight  against 
malaria,  absence  of  markets,  churches  and  schools  retarded  the  early 
growth  of  the  county.  In  1 790  the  population  was  only  1 1 ,640,  includ- 
ing nearly  4,000  negro  slaves.  During  the  next  twenty-five  years,  to 
181 5,  the  population  rose  to  i6,q7i. 

In  addition  to  Pocomoke  City,  Snow  Hill,  Berlin,  Stockton,  and 
Ocean  City,  which  is  the  only  town  in  Maryland  built  at  the  ocean's 
side,  several  other  towns  were  in  times  past  "erected"  in  Worcester 
County  by  legislative  act,  and  of  them  no  traces  remain,  if  any  such 
towns  had  in  fact  physical  existence.  Notable  among  these  are 
"Newport,  "  erected  in  1744,  two  years  after  Snow  Hill  was  incorpo- 
rated, and  "Baltimore  Town."  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  the 
March,  1666,  term  of  Somerset  Court  ordered  that  the  "Great  Bridge" 
at  Snow  Hill  be  repaired.  Snow  Hill,  the  present  county-seat,  was 
then  a  village  near  which  a  band  of  friendly  Indians,  numbering  about 
120,  lingered  until  1756,  refused  inducements  to  leave,  and  what 
finally  became  of  them  is  unknown.  It  was  not  until  many  years 
after  the  "Great  Bridge"  was  repaired  that  the  town  of  Snow  Hill 
was  incorporated. 

"Newtown,"  now  Pocomoke  City,  was  then  unknown.  Col.  Wil- 
liam Stevens  established  a  ferry  about  1670  across  the  Pocomoke 
River  where  the  bridge  at  Pocomoke  City  now  is,  and  called  the  place 
"Stevens'  Ferry."  A  warehouse  for  tobacco,  then  a  legal  tender  in 
Maryland  and  other  colonies,  built  of  cypress  logs,  was  established 
on  "the  hill,"  a  short  distance  below  "Stevens'  Ferry,"  about  the 
year  1700,  and  from  that  the  hamlet  below  the  ferry  took  its  name 
of  "Warehouse  Landing."  Later,  as  "Newtown,"  the  village  flour- 
ished until  it  soon  outgrew  Wagram,  just  across  the  Virginia  line. 
"Newtown"  also  outgrew  Rehoboth  in  Somerset  County,  eight  miles 
down  the  Pocomoke  River,  a  port  of  entry  and  a  place  of  comparative 
importance  when  Baltimore  City  was  young. 

Rehoboth  boasts  the  oldest  Presbyterian  church  building  in  exis- 
tence in  America,  and  one  of  the  oldest  Episcopal  churches.  The  year 
1683  is  notable,  not  alone  to  Worcester  County  but  to  the  nation, 
because  it  was  in  that  year  that  the  first  Presbyterian  preacher 



reached  the  colonies.  The  young  missionary  from  Ireland,  Francis 
Makemie,  began  that  year  his  ministerial  work  at  Snow  Hill  and  in 
Somerset  County.  He  established  at  Snow  Hill,  about  i6qo,  what  is 
generally  believed  to  be  the  first  Presbyterian  church  erected  in 
America,  and  at  about  the  same  time  a  second  church  at  Rehoboth. 
Soon  he  organized  a  third  church,  "Old  Manokin,"  at  Princess  Anne. 
After  an  active  and  useful  career,  by  no  means  free  from  difficulty, 
hardship  and  persecution,  Makemie  died,  and  was  buried  on  the  farm 
of  his  daughter,  Anne  Holden,  on  Holden's  Creek,  Accomac  County, 
Virginia.  For  many  years  the  place  of  his  burial  was  unknown,  his 
grave  unmarked,  but  finally  after  persistent  and  careful  examination 
of  records,  documents,  etc.,  and  the  most  painstaking,  energetic  effort, 
his  burial  place  was  accurately  located.  Thereupon  a  suitable  monu- 
ment was  erected  some  eight  or  ten  years  ago  to  mark  his  grave,  paid 
for  by  subscriptions  given  by  the  Presbyterians  of  the  United  States, 
who  showed  this  long  postponed  and  much  deserved  respect  to  the 
memory  of  their  first  minister. 

One  small,  and  otherwise  comparatively  unimportant,  incident 
is  of  value,  because  it  throws  a  vivid  light  on  the  relative  size 
of  the  struggling  settlements,  and  the  bonds  of  friendship  which 
united  them.  After  the  great  Boston  fire  in  1760,  Worcester  County 
contributed,  (as  did  all  the  other  counties  of  the  Province  of  Mary- 
land), to  the  stricken  New  England  city,  her  gift  being  £73  4s.  6d. 
Quite  a  generous  contribution  it  was,  when  the  resources  of  Worcester 
County  in  1760  are  considered.  Great  events  were  soon  to  follow  this 
donation,  significant  as  an  expression  of  sympathy.  Fourteen  years 
afterward  we  find  that  the  sum  of  £533  was  raised  in  Worcester 
County  to  aid  Massachusetts  in  her  opposition  to  taxation  by  the 
British  Parliament  without  representation.  After  the  Revolutionary 
War  actually  began  a  great  mass  meeting  was  held  on  June  7,  1775, 
at  Snow  Hill  and  a  set  of  resolutions  adopted  in  which,  among  other 
things,  it  was  pledged  "That  we  will  from  time  to  time,  as  often  as  it 
shall  be  found  necessary,  contribute  cheerfully  for  the  support  and 
relief  of  our  brethren  in  Massachusetts,  now  actually  experiencing 
the  fullest  extent  of  ministerial  vengeance  and  tyranny,  and  groaning 
under  the  horrors  of  war  in  the  defense  of  their  and  our  common 



On  July  26,  1775,  about  sixty  of  the  foremost  citizens  of  the 
county,  (men  whose  names  are  still  familiar,  being  perpetuated  by 
many  descendants  now  living  in  Worcester),  met  at  Snow  Hill  and 
signed  the  Association  of  the  Freemen  of  Maryland.  Maryland,  how- 
ever, and  particularly  Worcester  County,  was  by  no  means  unanimous 
in  favor  of  the  war,  and  there  were  many  "Tories' '  in  Worcester  loyal 
to  the  British  Crown.  So  that  the  men  who  so  boldly  wrote  their 
names  on  the  roll  of  the  Association  of  Freemen  undoubtedly  wrote 
their  own  death  warrants  had  the  colonies  lost.  The  presence  and 
pernicious  activity  of  so  many  ''Tories"  in  Worcester  and  Somerset 
Counties  was  a  source  of  grim  satisfaction  to  Governor  Eden.  He 
wrote,  with  some  elation,  that  in  February,  1777,  General  Smallwood, 
with  500  men  and  a  company  of  artillery,  had  been  sent  to  the  lower 
peninsula  to  reduce  the  "Tories  "  to  obedience.  When  Smallwood 
arrived  the  trouble  was  over.  Nevertheless,  many  of  the  trouble- 
makers were  arrested  by  him  and  hustled  to  Annapolis  for  trial,  where 
it  is  unlikely  that  any  too  great  deference  or  tenderness  was  shown 

The  Sinepuxent  Battalion,  with  about  318  men,  Capts.  Matthew 
Purnell,  William  Purnell,  E.  Purnell,  Thomas  Purnell  and  Dale;  the 
Snow  Hill  Battalion,  with  about  578  men,  Capts.  Spence,  Stewart, 
Layfield,  Handy,  Walton,  Patterson,  Smyley,  Parramore  and  William 
Richardson,  were  volunteers  in  the  cause  of  independence  organized 
in  the  county,  and  comprised  about  13  per  cent  of  the  total  white 
population.  In  addition  many  men  enlisted  from  Worcester  County 
in  commands  elsewhere.  Col.  Peter  Chaille  commanded  the  Tenth 
Battalion  and  Col.  William  Purnell  the  Twenty-fourth  Battalion  of 
the  Maryland  Militia  authorized  by  the  Convention  of  1 775.  Worces- 
ter sent  Samuel  Handy,  Peter  Chaille,  Smith  Bishop  and  Josiah 
Mitchell,  who  was  for  many  years  county  surveyor,  as  members  of 
the  Provincial  Convention  which  framed  the  first  Constitution  for 
the  State  of  Maryland,  and  held  its  sessions  at  Annapolis  between 
August  14  and  November  11,  1776.  And  as  delegates  to  the  State 
Convention  of  1788,  which  ratified  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States,  Worcester  sent  John  Done,  Peter  Chaille,  William  Morris  and 
James  Martin. 

Worcester  County  has  much  fast  land  and  semi-waste  land  in  the 



long  stretches  of  swamp  which  for  many  miles  border  the  dark,  deep 
reaches  of  the  tortuous  Pocomoke  River  and  its  tributaries,  and  make 
the  river,  with  its  coffee-colored  waters,  one  of  the  loveliest  streams 
in  America.  Again,  the  narrow  sand  spit  that  pens  the  waters  of  the 
shallow  bay  extending  from  Virginia  to  Delaware  along  the  east  coast 
of  the  county,  and  that  in  some  miraculous  way  has  sustained  for 
years  and  still  sustains  the  pounding  of  the  ocean  breakers  on  one 
side  and  the  wash  from  the  waters  of  the  bay  on  the  other,  and  that 
keeps  the  ocean  and  the  bay  apart,  is  barren.  Worcester  has  valuable 
resources  in  its  salt-water  fisheries  in  the  sheltered  bay  to  the  east 
known  at  various  parts  of  its  length  as  Isle  of  Wight,  Sinepuxent  and 

The  county  has  all  varieties  of  soils.  Soils  that  will  produce  more 
wheat  per  acre  than  the  best  lands  of  the  West,  and  also  phenomenal 
yields  of  corn  and  vegetables,  sometimes  lie  within  gunshot  of  sandy 
"pine  barrens"  that  scarcely  repay  the  cost  of  clearing.  Diversified 
farming,  the  raising  of  truck  and  fruits,  improved  methods  of  market- 
ing and  transportation,  and  good  roads  have  wrought  an  agricul- 
tural miracle  of  recent  years  in  the  county. 

Worcester  has  been  well  and  honestly  governed,  and  the  people 
of  the  county  have  enjoyed,  among  the  first  in  Maryland,  the  best 
fruits  of  a  liberal  free  school  system.  Peace,  security  of  personal  and 
property  rights,  good  order,  sufficient  for  all  the  necessaries  of  life 
and  many,  (though  not  too  many),  of  its  luxuries  have  almost  without 
intermission  blessed  the  people  and  been  the  county's  portion.  If 
the  words  of  Voltaire  be  true,  that  "history  is  little  else  than  a  picture 
of  human  crimes  and  misfortunes,"  then  Worcester  is  happily  without 
a  history. 

[  I3Q 

Patented  i66q 

BEVERLY,"  the  old  colonial  homestead  of  the  Dennis  family,  is 
situated  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Pocomoke  River,  about  eight 
miles  from  its  mouth,  in  Worcester  County,  on  a  tract  of  land 
patented  in  i66q  under  the  name,  of  "Thrum-Capped"  to  Donnoch 
Dennis,  who  was  the  first  settler  of  the  name  in  Maryland. 

Donnoch  Dennis  lived  on  Dividing  Creek  in  Somerset  County,  on 
"Dennis  First  and  Second  Purchases,"  and  his  son  John  inherited  the 
"Beverly"  or  "Thrum-Capped"  tract  and  lived  there.  He  built  the 
first  dwelling  house  on  the  tract,  which  was  of  brick. 

The  present  house  stood  on  a  tract  which,  until  recently  subdi- 
vided, consisted  of  1,700  acres.  The  present  house  was  commenced 
in  1774  by  Littleton  Dennis,  a  lawyer;  and  he,  dying  in  the  same 
year,  it  was  completed  by  his  widow,  Susanna  (Upshur)  Dennis,  both 
of  whom,  with  many  others  of  their  family,  are  buried  in  the  family 
burying  ground  near  the  house. 

The  house  is  of  the  large,  old  English  style  of  brick  and  faces 
east.   The  porch  to  the  side  facing  the  Pocomoke  River  is  of  wrought 

[  140] 


iron,  fashioned  by  hand,  and  the  circle  in  the  arch  was  formerly  the 
receptacle  for  a  large  iron  lamp,  which  served  as  a  beacon  light  for 
miles  up  and  down  the  Pocomoke  River,  which  in  the  absence  of  good 
roads,  furnished  then  the  only  easy  means  of  communication. 

The  first  floor  rooms  are  all  wainscoted,  in  whole  or  in  part,  with 
panels  beautifully  designed,  and  all  hand  work,  and  in  each  room, 
where  was  originally  a  fireplace,  there  are  on  each  side  of  the  latter 
closets  in  the  wall,  presumably  to  hold  firewood. 

The  walls  are  very  thick,  allowing  room  for  deep  window  seats, 
and  the  framing  and  timbers,  which  are  still  perfectly  solid,  were 
hewed  out.  The  boards  used  in  construction  were  sawed  out  from 
the  log  by  hand. 

The  property  has  never  been  out  of  the  Dennis  family,  but  has 
passed  down  through  successive  generations  by  will  or  inheritance 
from  the  original  patentee. 





ALTHOUGH  not  built  in  colonial  days,  the  Timmons  House  in 
Snow  Hill,  recently  torn  down,  was  for  a  century  an  architec- 
tural landmark  of  Snow  Hill.  The  original  part  was  built  of  hewn 
logs  by  Timothy  Irons,  and  its  first  site  was  at  the  southerly  end  of 
Market  Street.  Purchased  a  quarter  of  a  century  later  from  Irons  by 
Dr.  Thomas  Spence,  it  was  moved  to  a  new  site,  an  addition  built  on 
and  the  colonial  type  of  porches  constructed.  Dr.  Spence  at  that 
time  owned  nearly  all  the  land  from  Washington  Street  to  Purnell's 
Mill  Pond,  on  the  Berlin  road.  He  sold  the  house  to  Sheriff  Samuel 
Harper,  and  later  owners  were  Edward  Bowen  and  John  F.  Purnell. 
About  i860  it  became  the  home  of  Capt.  William  E.  Timmons,  then 
a  political  leader  in  Worcester,  who  occupied  it  until  his  death  a  few 
years  ago. 

The  demolition  of  this  notable  structure  of  Snow  Hill,  in  the  inter- 
ests of  modern  progress,  caused  a  sentimental  pang  to  the  residents 
and  descendants  of  former  residents  who  revered  the  building  for  its 
long  and  intimate  connection  with  local  and  family  history. 


Built  1755 

FROM  the  builder  of  this  house,  Robert  Morris,  Register  of  Wills 
of  Worcester  County,  who  erected  it  in  1755,  its  ownership  passed 
to  Judge  William  Whittington,  the  maternal  grandfather  of  United 
States  Senator  John  Walter  Smith.  Judge  Whittington  died  in 
1827,  and  was  buried  on  the  "Ingleside"  place.  The  property  was 
later  occupied  by  his  son-in-law.  Judge  William  Tingle,  for  some  years 
in  the  middle  period  of  the  last  century.  The  ballroom  of  the  mansion 
is  now  used  as  a  kitchen,  the  original  kitchen  having  been  a  semi- 
detached building.  "Ingleside"  is  owned  by  Mrs.  Eugene  Riggin,  of 
Los  Angeles,  California. 

Judge  Whittington  succeeded  John  Done,  of  Somerset,  as  Chief 
Justice  of  the  Fourth  District  of  Maryland  in  1799,  Judge  Done, 
appointed  under  the  Judiciary  Act  of  17Q0,  having  been  promoted  to 
the  General  Court.  The  Fourth  District,  (there  being  five  in  the  State) , 
included  Caroline,  Dorchester,  Somerset  and  Worcester  Counties — all 
the  Eastern  Shore  south  of  the  Choptank.  Judge  Whittington  served 
a  little  less  than  two  years,  when  his  tenure  was  ended  by  the  Act  of 



1 80 1,  which  likewise  divided  the  Eastern  Shore  into  two  districts, 
Cecil,  Kent,  Queen  Anne's  and  Talbot  being  the  Second. 

William  Polk,  of  Somerset,  was  appointed  in  Judge  Whittington's 
stead,  for  party  reasons.  By  Luther  Martin,  Whittington  sued  Polk 
at  the  only  assize  of  novel  disseisin  known  to  the  Maryland  law 
reports  for  "having  disseised  him  of  his  freehold,  with  its  appurte- 
nances," in  the  office  of  Chief  Justice  of  the  County  Courts  of  the 
Fourth  District,  and  the  General  Court,  upon  a  jury's  special  verdict, 
found  that  when  Whittington  qualified  "a  right  vested  in  him  to  hold 
office  until  his  death  or  conviction  in  a  court  of  law  of  misbehavior" ; 
and  that  the  repealing  Act  of  1801  in  depriving  him  of  his  office  was 
"an  infraction  of  his  right  and  does  not  accord  with  sound  legislation." 
However,  the  General  Court  held  that  the  Act  was  not  repugnant  to 
the  State  Constitution,  and  was  within  the  power  of  the  Legislature; 
and  nonsuited  Whittington  because  the  writ  of  assize  of  novel  dis- 
seisin, (a  Clarendon  statute  of  Henry  II),  the  use  of  which  in  Eliza- 
bethan England  in  a  certain  action  for  the  recovery  of  land  had 
been  set  up  as  a  precedent  by  Martin  and  Robert  Goodloe  Harper, 
had  never  been  extended  to  Maryland,  and  could  not  be  availed  of  in 
the  case  at  bar.  Polk's  counsel  were  Thomas  James  Bullitt,  Gustavus 
Scott  and  Josiah  Bayley. 

The  Chief  Justices  of  the  County  Courts  at  first  sat  with  two 
lay  associates  in  each  county,  but  under  a  further  reorganization  of 
the  county  courts  by  the  Act  of  1804,  Polk,  Done  and  James  B. 
Robins,  of  Worcester,  became  the  Fourth  District  bench.  Judge 
Whittington  returned  to  it  as  an  Associate  Justice  in  18 12,  again 
succeeding  Done,  promoted  to  Chief  Justice  on  the  death  of  Polk. 

Judge  Whittington,  noted  among  the  early  judges  of  Maryland 
for  his  mental  attainments  and  judicial  character,  continued  on  the 
bench  until  his  death,  in  1827,  when  his  place  was  taken  by  his  son- 
in-law.  Judge  Tingle.  A  quarter  of  a  century  later  all  the  appointive 
judges  were  legislated  out  of  office  by  the  Constitution  of  185 1,  which 
changed  the  circuits  and  made  judgeships  elective.  Judge  Tingle 
returned  to  the  practice  of  law  at  Snow  Hill,  and  died  in  1864. 

[  144] 

First  Church  Built  1734 

IN  following  the  instructions  given  to  the  freeholders  of  what  was 
then  Somerset  County  in  the  Act  of  Assembly  of  1692,  Chapter  2, 
entitled  "An  Act  for  the  Service  of  Almighty  God  and  the  Establish- 
ment of  the  Protestant  Religion  within  this  Province,"  Mathew 
Scarborough,  William  Round,  John  Francklin,  Thomas  Painter, 
Thomas  Selby,  and  Edward  Hammond  were  selected  to  serve  as 
vestrymen  of  Snow  Hill  Parish  until  the  Monday  after  Easter  of  the 
following  year. 

The  Justices  of  the  County  Court,  with  the  "principal  free- 
holders" of  the  county,  had,  previous  to  the  selection  of  the  vestrymen, 
divided  Somerset  County  into  four  parishes.  The  instructions  regard- 
ing the  laying  out  and  dividing  the  several  counties  under  this  act 
includes  the  following;  "And  the  same  districts  and  Parishes  the  said 
Justices  shall  cause  to  be  laid  out  by  meets  and  bounds  and  fair 
certificates  of  each  parish,  with  the  most  evident  and  demonstrable 
Bounds  of  the  same,  returned  to  the  next  County  Court  to  be  held 
for  the  said  County  which  the  Justices  at  their  County  Courts  as 



aforesaid  shall  cause  the  Clerk  of  the  said  County  to  enter  the  said 
certificate  upon  the  Record  and  draw  a  fair  copy  thereof,  affixing  his 
name  and  the  Seal  of  the  said  County  thereunto,  and  transmit  the 
same  with  all  convenient  speed  to  the  Governor  and  Council  of  this 
Province  to  be  kept  on  record  in  the  Council  Books." 

It  was  found  that  of  the  four  parishes  laid  out  in  Somerset  County, 
the  most  easterly  one.  Snow  Hill,  was  co-extensive  with  two  sub- 
divisions of  the  county,  namely,  Bogettenorten  and  Mattapany 
Hundreds,  lying  east  of  the  Pocomoke  River  and  bordering  upon  the 
Atlantic  Ocean. 

The  first  minister  who  preached  in  the  parish  according  to  the 
Allen  MSS.  was  Rev.  John  White,  in  i6q8.  In  1703  Rev.  Robert 
Keith  preached  there,  and  in  1708  Rev.  Alexander  Adams  was  in 
charge.  It  was  during  his  pastorate  that  the  name  was  changed,  in 
1 7 10,  to  All  Hallows.  Rev.  Charles  Wilkinson  began  to  preach  in 
the  parish  in  1 7 1 1 ,  but  owing  to  the  unsettled  conditions  no  minister 
afterward  preached  in  the  parish  until  1728,  when  Rev.  Thomas 
Fletcher  began  his  thirteen  years  of  faithful  service  as  rector.  Rev. 
Patrick  Glasgow  followed,  serving  eleven  years,  and  during  his  pasto- 
rate, in  1742,  All  Hallows  found  itself  in  Worcester  County — the 
county  at  its  erection  being  co-extensive  with  the  bounds  of  old 
"Snow  Hill  Parish."  The  first  church  was  built  in  1734,  during  Rev. 
Mr.  Fletcher's  time.  In  1754,  Rev.  John  Rosse  began  his  pastoral 
duties,  which  continued  until  the  last  part  of  1775.  On  January  28, 
1776,  Rev.  Edward  Gantt  began  to  preach  there. 




THROUGH  the  influence 
of  the  Spence  family  in 
1828  the  Maryland  Iron 
Company  was  formed,  and 
acquired  about  5,000  acres 
of  land,  along  Nassawango 
Creek,  which  included  a 
large  deposit  of  bog  ore, 
rich  in  iron,  that  curiously 
enough  lined  the  bed  of  the 
creek  in  considerable  quan- 
tity. It  represented  the  de- 
posit of  mineral  substance 
left  by  springs  that  had 
oozed  from  the  depths  of 
the  earth  through  the  bog 
and  cypress  roots  for  untold 
ages  to  feed  Nassawango 
Creek.  The  company  was 
formed  to  mine  and  reduce 
this  ore.  The  adjacent  pine  forests  furnished  charcoal  to  be  used  in 
the  process.  A  large  furnace  was  constructed  and  many  houses  for 
employees  were  built  on  a  site  about  five  miles  from  Snow  Hill. 
Much  money  and  many  high  hopes  were  lost  after  about  seven  years 
unprofitable  operation.  The  stack  of  the  "Old  Furnace"  is  all  that 
now  remains  of  the  mills,  and  around  about  it  and  its  environs  is 
woven  the  story  of  that  remarkable  novel,  "The  Entailed  Hat," 
written  by  the  late  George  Alfred  Townsend,  himself  a  native  of 
Worcester  County. 


Built  1756 

FOR  nearly  seventy  years  St.  Martin's  Church,  near  the  village  of 
Showell  in  Worcester  County,  was  the  parish  church  of  Worcester 
Parish.  The  parish  was  erected  from  part  of  Snow  Hill,  now  All 
Hallows  Parish,  in  1744.  The  present  brick  building  was  erected  in 
1756  on  the  site  of  its  less  pretentious  predecessor  under  the  patron- 
age, it  is  said,  of  a  Queen  of  England,  who  presented  the  parish  with 
a  silver  service.  Part  of  this  silver  is  now  used  in  St.  Paul's  Episcopal 
Church  at  Berlin  and  the  rest  of  it  in  the  Episcopal  church  at  Mills- 
boro,  Delaware,  which  town  lies  a  few  miles  to  the  north  of  St.  Martin's. 

The  vestry  of  the  parish  built  Prince  George's  Chapel  at  Selbyville 
in  the  early  days,  and  when  the  Maryland-Delaware  boundary  line 
was  run  by  Mason  and  Dixon  in  1763  and  relocated  to  include  that 
part  of  Worcester  County  south  of  the  Indian  River  it  divided  Wor- 
cester Parish,  placing  Prince  George's  Parish  in  Delaware.  It  was  at 
that  time  that  the  silver  service  of  St.  Martin's  was  divided. 

The  vestries  in  those  days,  when  state  and  church  were  united 
and,  under  the  Proprietary  government  of  the  Cal verts  subject  to  the 



Crown  of  England,  had  magisterial  authority  and  laid  a  tax  on  the 
settlers  for  the  maintenance  of  the  Church  of  England  in  Maryland. 
The  tax  was  paid  in  tobacco. 

Five  acres  of  land  were  laid  out  for  a  cemetery  around  St.  Martin's 
and  many  of  the  ancestors  of  the  present  generation  are  buried  there. 
The  cemetery  is  now  covered  by  a  jungle  of  bushes  and  briers.  There 
is  much  valuable  history  in  the  records  of  the  parish  associated  with 
this  old  church  and  its  congregation.  The  names  of  the  first  pew- 
holders  are  still  found  in  the  records,  together  with  much  interesting 
historical  information  of  the  families  and  "doings  '  of  olden  times. 

Following  the  English  custom,  several  of  the  early  rectors  were 
buried  under  the  chancel  of  the  church.  This  has  given  rise  to  the 
legends  of  ghosts  being  seen  about  the  old  edifice.  But  the  brave 
pioneers  of  that  part  of  the  Eastern  Shore  sleep  too  soundly  to  play 

Old  Worcester  Parish  included  the  upper  part  of  Worcester  County 
and  within  its  bounds  are  Ocean  City,  Bishopville,  Berlin,  Liberty- 
town,  Whaleyville  and  Friendship. 


■■■^■^■i  ^ 



^^^^Jh-'  ^m 



Built  1830 

IN  the  town  of  Berlin  within  a  mile  of  the  birthplace  of  Commodore 
Stephen  Decatur  is  "Burley  Cottage,"  which  was  built  by  Capt. 
John  Selby  Purnell  about  1830.  This  place  probably  takes  its  name 
from  "Burley,"  granted  to  Colonel  Stevens  in  1677,  together  with 
many  tracts  in  this  section  of  the  Peninsula.  From  the  descrip- 
tion, it  is  likely  that  the  present  town  of  Berlin  covers  a  part  of 
this  grant. 

In  "The  Days  of  Makemie,"  an  interesting  account  is  given  of  a 
visit  in  1684  to  inspect  these  estates:  "'Sailing  on  up  the  eastern 
fork  of  the  bay  next  morning  and  passing  along  the  tract  of  land 
called  'Goshen,'  patented  by  Mr.  Makemie's  friend.  Colonel  Jenkins, 
we  see  a  little  town  of  the  aborigines,  their  canoes  strewing  the  banks. 
A  larger  cabin  indicates  the  Palace  of  Majesty,  and,  steering  our 
course  nearer,  we  see  Queen  Weocomoconus  sitting  in  State  at  the 
door  and  her  son,  Kunsonum,  at  her  side  with  the  plumes  of  the 
seagull  in  his  hair."  After  trading  with  the  Indians,  with  whom  they 
seemed  to  be  on  friendly  terms,  one  "Wasposson"  acted  as  guide  dur- 



ing  the  balance  of  the  expedition.  Continuing,  the  writer  says:  "Mr. 
Ambrose  White  had  joined  us,  coming  from  his  estate  called  'Happy 
Entrance/  north  of  St.  Martin's  River.  Together  we  went  on  to 
'Kelsey  Hill' — another  of  Mr.  Steven's  tracts — thence  on  a  mile 
farther  to  his  land  called  'Burley,'  of  three  hundred  acres,  granted 
him  in  1677.  'Coyes'  Folly,'  belonging  to  Mr.  Wale,  lies  to  the 
north,  and  'Mount  Pleasant'  between  the  two.  On  the  'Burley' 
tract  a  gentle,  quiet  hill,  covered  with  venerable  oaks  and  gemmed 
with  wild  flowers,  offered  a  quiet  resting  place  for  our  midday  repast." 
"Burley  Cottage"  is  a  most  attractive  home,  and  is  conspicuous 
for  the  luxurious  growth  of  English  ivy  that  covers  the  brick  walls 
and  which  can  only  be  kept  in  bounds  by  constant  trimming.  Back 
of  the  house  there  was  originally  a  garden  with  formal  box  hedges 
which  have  grown  to  a  most  unusual  size.  Captain  Purnell  was  the 
owner  of  much  landed  property  in  Worcester  County.  He  was  a 
highly  educated  man,  with  cultured  tastes  and  most  distinguished 
manners.  He  married  Margaret  Campbell  Henry,  daughter  of  Francis 
Jenkins  Henry,  who  was  a  brother  of  John  Henry,  of  Dorchester 
County,  who  was  successively  member  of  the  Continental  Congress, 
United  States  Senator  and  finally  Governor  of  Maryland,  1797-1798. 
In  addition  to  the  large  landed  estate  inherited  by  Captain  Purnell 
his  wife  brought  him  "Buckland.  "  This  was  a  large  tract  of  land  on 
the  St.  Martin's  River,  and  at  that  time  had  a  fine  house  and  hand- 
some garden  running  down  to  the  river.  This  is  the  same  tract  that 
was  devised  by  John  Henry  to  his  son  John  upon  his  death  in  171 7. 
It  was  here  that  Captain  Purnell  passed  his  early  married  life,  moving 
to  "Burley  Cottage  "  upon  its  completion,  where  he  lived  the  re- 
mainder of  his  days.  Upon  his  death  the  various  large  estates  passed 
to  his  sons — "Buckland"  to  the  heirs  of  his  son,  John  Henry,  "Wallops 
Neck"  to  his  son,  Francis  Jenkins,  and  "Simperton"  to  his  son,  James 
Robins;  "Burley  Cottage"  being  devised  with  other  property  to  his 
daughter,  Nancy  Purnell.  Upon  her  death  and  the  division  of  her 
estate  it  was  sold  and  is  now  owned  by  Henry  Purnell,  grandson  of 
the  builder.  The  various  large  tracts  inherited  by  his  sons  have  now 
been  sub-divided  or  broken  up  by  the  process  of  time  except  "Wallops 
Neck"  which  is  still  held  as  devised  to  Francis  Jenkins  Purnell,  by  his 


Near  Berlin 

AMONG  the  historical  houses  of  Worcester  is  the  unpretentious 
L  birthplace  of  one  of  Maryland's  most  distinguished  sons,  Stephen 
Decatur.  Here  on  the  5th  of  January,  i/zq,  was  born  that  hero  of 
the  early  American  Navy.  The  old  house  is  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Berlin,  a  thriving  town  of  northern  Worcester  County.  For  over  a 
century  it  has  withstood  the  east  winds  that  have  swept  in  from  the 
Atlantic,  over  whose  restless  bosom  Decatur  sailed  and  fought  his 
way  to  everlasting  fame. 

Decatur's  grandfather  was  born  in  France  and  went  to  Rhode 
Island,  married  and  established  his  home  at  Newport,  where  Decatur's 
father,  Stephen  Decatur,  the  elder,  was  born  in  175 1 .  In  Philadelphia 
this  Stephen  met  a  Miss  Pine,  the  daughter  of  an  Irishman,  whom 
he  married  and  they  made  their  home  there.  In  writing  of  Decatur, 
John  W.  Staton,  of  Snow  Hill,  says: 

"His  nature  combined  the  characteristics  of  the  French  and  Irish 
and  they  were  manifested  in  his  fascinating  personality  and  gallant 
bravery  in  after  life.  It  was  in  the  late  spring  of  1778  that  Stephen 
Decatur,  senior,  brought  his  young  wife  from  Philadelphia  to  Worces- 



ter  County  and  took  this  unpretentious  house,  where  Stephen  was 
born  the  following  January.  The  theory  seems  to  be  reasonably  sound 
that  it  was  the  desire  of  the  elder  Decatur  to  have  the  prospective 
mother  removed  far  from  the  excitement  and  danger  incident  to  the 
occupation  of  Philadelphia  at  that  time  by  the  British  troops  under 
Lord  Howe;  that  the  country  near  Philadelphia  was  in  the  zone  of 
danger  and  great  excitement,  and  that  the  lower  part  of  the  Eastern 
Shore  Peninsula  offered  the  haven  of  peace  and  quiet  that  they 
sought.  The  occupancy  of  the  house,  which  then  belonged  to  Isaac 
Murray,  was  temporary  only  and  for  a  definite  purpose,  and  when 
that  purpose  was  fulfilled  by  the  birth  of  the  son  who  was  destined 
to  shed  such  glory  on  his  name,  and  the  British  troops  had  evacuated 
Philadelphia,  the  parents  returned  there  with  their  boy  when  he  was 
three  months  old.  There  his  early  days  were  spent  and  at  the  Uni- 
versity of  Pennsylvania  he  received  the  training  and  pursued  the 
studies  which  made  him  a  man  of  culture  and  education  as  well  as  a 
man  of  brilliant  daring  and  courage.  The  fact  remains,  however,  that 
to  Worcester  was  given  the  honor  of  being  the  deliberately  selected 
birthplace  of  a  most  distinguished  citizen." 

Decatur  entered  the  service  of  the  American  Navy  as  a  midship- 
man on  the  frigate  United  States  at  the  age  of  nineteen  in  1 798,  under 
Commodore  Barry.  He  was  soon  promoted  to  the  rank  of  lieutenant. 
In  1 80 1,  as  first  lieutenant  of  the  frigate  Essex,  he  went  to  the  Medi- 
terranean with  Commodore  Dale's  squadron  to  protect  American 
merchantmen  against  the  Barbary  pirates.  For  bravery  at  Tripoli 
he  was  promoted  to  captain  in  1804,  at  the  age  of  twenty-five,  then 
the  highest  rank  in  the  Navy.  Later  commands  gave  him  the  courtesy 
titles  of  post-captain  and  commodore,  and  in  1816  he  was  made  one 
of  the  commissioners  of  the  American  Navy. 

Commodore  Decatur  married  Miss  Wheeler  of  Norfolk. 

He  was  mortally  wounded  on  March  22,  1820,  in  a  duel  with 
Commodore  Barron  at  Bladensburg.  Barron,  court-martialed  in  1 808 
for  surrendering  the  Chesapeake  and  afterward  never  given  a  sea 
command,  challenged  Decatur,  who  had  sat  on  the  court-martial. 
Taken  to  his  home  in  Washington,  Decatur  died  a  few  hours  after 
the  duel  and  was  buried  in  St.  Peter's  Churchyard,  Philadelphia, 
where  his  grave  is  marked  by  a  handsome  monument. 


A  View  of  the  Atlantic  Ocean 

SINEPUXENT  Bay,  a  long  and  narrow  body  of  water  on  the 
eastern  side  of  Worcester  County,  is  separated  from  the  Atlantic 
Ocean  by  Assateague  Island  and  the  North  Beach.  This  inlet  was 
the  entrance  from  the  ocean  into  the  bay.  The  remains  of  a  wreck 
may  still  be  seen  in  the  sand.  A  boat  is  said  to  have  grounded  while 
passing  through  the  inlet,  which,  when  the  channel  was  thus  choked, 
rapidly  closed.  Of  the  three  inlets  known  to  have  been  used  by  some 
of  the  foreign  and  by  the  large  coastwise  shipping  in  days  gone  by, 
only  the  most  southerly,  Chincoteague,  is  now  open  and  in  use. 

When  in  March,  1634,  Lord  Baltimore's  colonists  sailed  up  the 
Potomac  on  the  Ark  and  the  Dove  and  settled  at  St.  Mary's,  they 
doubtless  cared  little  for  their  1 20  odd  miles  of  distant  seacoast  along 
the  Atlantic.  Their  immediate  work  lay  closer  by,  and  their  settle- 
ment grew  first,  naturally,  in  the  Chesapeake  Bay  region.  After  the 
middle  of  the  century,  when  they  turned  their  faces  east  and  began  in 
earnest  to  occupy  and  to  govern  the  seaside,  they  were  opposed  by 
shrewd  men  with  plans  of  their  own.   All  the  diplomacy  of  Governor 



Calvert  and  the  energy  of  Col.  William  Stevens,  of  Somerset  County, 
and  their  successors  have  been  able  to  preserve  of  this  large  ocean 
frontier  from  stranger  claimants  is  the  fifty  miles  of  beach  land,  with- 
out a  deep  harbor,  comprising  the  easterly  boundary  of  Worcester 

The  early  history  of  this  little  strip  of  Maryland's  seacoast,  pic- 
turesque and  full  of  ancient  interest,  has  never  been  fully  written 
and  much  of  it  is  now,  no  doubt,  lost  in  the  mists. 

"Who,  first  among  Europeans,  set  foot  upon  the  island  beaches 
of  the  Maryland  coast  we  do  not  know.  The  native  inhabitant  still 
clings  to  the  tradition  that  it  was  most  likely  some  sailor  on  that 
shipwrecked  Spanish  vessel  which  gave  to  the  island  of  Chincoteague 
her  famous  wild  ponies;  and  still  believes  that  the  master  genius  of 
the  Jamestown  settlement,  that  indefatigable  navigator,  Capt.  John 
Smith,  must  have  fully  explored  this  coast"  says  Harry  F.  Covington 
in  writing  of  the  visit  in  1524  of  Verrazzano  to  the  Eastern  Shore  of 

While  acting  as  navigator  for  King  Francis  I  of  France,  this 
Italian,  in  the  "Dauphine"  with  a  crew  of  fifty  men,  sailed  along  the 
Worcester  coast.  In  making  his  report  of  the  voyage  he  wrote  that 
he  came  "to  another  land,  which  appeared  much  more  beautiful  and 
full  of  the  largest  forests."  To  this  land  he  gave  the  name  of  Arcadia 
and  in  1670  Augustine  Herman  made  a  map  for  Lord  Baltimore  in 
consideration  of  a  manorial  grant,  (Bohemia  Manor  in  Cecil  County), 
and  located  Arcadia  on  this  map  where  Worcester  County  now  is. 




ORIGINALLY  all  the  territory  included  in  Caroline  County  lay 
within  the  bounds  of  Kent  and  Dorchester.  Talbot  later  had 
jurisdiction  over  the  area  between  the  Choptank  River  and  Tuckahoe 
Creek  for  forty-five  years,  when  this  section  was  made  part  of  Queen 
Anne's.  From  the  time  of  the  first  separation  of  the  region  below  the 
Choptank  into  two  counties  Dorchester  extended  along  the  south 
side  of  the  river  from  the  Chesapeake  Bay  to  its  headwaters.  The 
southeastern  corner  of  Caroline  as  a  part  of  the  northeastern  corner 
of  Dorchester  figured  in  the  claim  of  Somerset  that  "Nantecoke 
River  on  the  north"  carried  its  upper  boundary  to  the  North- West 
Fork,  (Marshy  Hope  Creek),  as  the  "main  branch"  of  the  river,  a 
dispute  terminated  in  1684  by  the  fixing  of  the  true  location  of  the 
"main  branch"  of  the  Nanticoke. 

Surveys  began  on  Kent  Island  in  1640,  on  Miles  River  in  1658, 
and  in  bayside  Dorchester  in  1659,  ^^d  a  fourth  tide  of  colonization 
was  working  up  the  Peninsula  from  Accomac ;  but  pioneers  penetrated 
slowly  to  the  upper  Choptank,  the  Tuckahoe  and  North- West  Fork. 
Twenty-nine  years  had  elapsed  from  the  coming  of  Calvert's  colon- 
ists to  St.  Mary's,  and  thirty-four  from  the  arrival  of  Claiborne's 
traders  on  Kent  Island,  before  the  Caroline  area  knew  compass  and 
chain.  The  first  survey  within  its  limits  was  made  on  March  4,  1663, 
for  Thomas  Skillington — "Skillington's  Right,"  300  acres,  "on  the 
south  side  Choptank  River  above  the  second  turning."  This  was 
speedily  followed  by  surveys  on  Hunting  Creek  and  Fowling  Creek 
and  on  up  the  river.  By  December,  1665,  grants  far  up  the  northeast 
branch  were  being  made,  and  the  original  patent  names  for  tracts  in 
this  locality  appear  frequently  in  the  "Summersett"  and  Dorchester 
Rent  Roll.  "Cedar  Point,"  the  site  of  the  first  county-seat,  is  among 
them;  surveyed  August  5,  1665,  for  John  Edmondson.    Even  earlier 



than  this,  surveys  were  being  made  in  the  "Forrest  of  Choptank," 
north  of  the  river,  and  on  the  east  side  of  the  Tuckahoe,  designated 
as  "the  main  branch  of  the  Choptank."  Not  until  a  long  period  after- 
ward, however,  did  settlers  venture  far  to  the  eastward  of  the  Chop- 
tank.  Some  surveys  were  made  on  Marshy  Hope  in  the  last  quarter 
of  the  seventeenth  century  and  grants  within  the  original  eastern 
limits  of  Dorchester  were  found  to  be  in  Delaware  when  the  Penns 
at  last  succeeded  in  wresting  forty-one  per  cent  of  the  peninsula 
between  the  Chesapeake  and  the  Delaware  Bays  from  the  Calverts. 
Entries  occur  in  the  rent  roll:  "This  land  deny'd,  being  supposed 
to  be  in  the  province  of  Pensilvania,"  evidently  an  echo  of  Penn's 
letters  to  holders  of  Maryland  grants. 

Whether  Dorchester  County  was  created  at  the  same  time  as 
Somerset,  (August,  1666),  or  a  few  months  before  Lord  Baltimore, 
(July,  i66q),  projected  Durham  County  to  include  the  territory  along 
the  Delaware  to  the  northern  charter  limits  of  his  Province,  cannot 
be  certainly  known  because  of  the  failure  so  far  to  find  any  definite 
and  authentic  record  of  the  first  existence  of  Dorchester,  other  than 
a  writ  to  its  sheriff.  The  fact  that  Somerset  was  in  express  terms 
placed  south  of  the  Nanticoke,  when  "that  part  of  the  province  newly 
seated  called  the  Eastern  Shore"  had  been  as  expressly  bounded  on 
the  north  by  the  Choptank  River,  was  pointed  out  to  Mr.  Skirven, 
who,  after  carefully  consulting  many  original  sources  of  Maryland 
history  relating  to  this  section,  came  to  the  conclusion  that  "The 
Eastern  Shore"  was  divided  into  these  two  counties  in  the  same 
year,  if  not  on  the  same  day.  To  this  opinion  I  strongly  incline.  The 
settlements  on  the  western  waterfront  of  Dorchester  had  been  growing 
for  six  years;  the  military  force  of  the  Colony  was  brought  against 
the  Nanticoke  Indians  when  their  opposition  to  the  extension  of 
settlements  into  the  interior  between  the  two  great  rivers  that 
enclosed  the  Dorchester  territory  became  too  formidable  for  the 
local  administration;  and  the  Proprietary,  by  the  erection  of  the 
temporary  Durham  and  Worcester  Counties  of  i66q  and  1672 
completed  his  fruitless  efforts  to  take  full  advantage  of  his  charter 
with  its  fateful  hactenus  inculta  clause.  By  buying  the  "claim"  of  the 
Duke  of  York,  (James  II),  Penn  was  enabled  to  finally  add  the  "three 
lower  counties  upon  Delaware"  to  Pennsylvania.  The  result  of  the 



long  controversy  was  the  establishment  of  the  eastern  line  of  Dor- 
chester by  Mason  and  Dixon. 

A  century  after  the  peopling  of  the  river  and  creek  fronts  of  Great 
Choptank  Hundred  of  Dorchester  and  the  Tuckahoe  territory,  the 
inhabitants  urged  the  erection  of  a  new  county.  Remote  from  Cam- 
bridge and  Queenstown,  they  sought  a  "seat  of  justice"  on  the  upper 
Choptank.  At  November  Session,  1773,  two  of  Dorchester's  Dele- 
gates were  William  Richardson  and  Thomas  White.  Richardson 
brought  in  a  bill  which  the  Assembly  passed,  carving  Caroline  out  of 
Dorchester  and  Queen  Anne's,  and  providing  for  its  organization  in 
the  succeeding  March.  The  county  was  named  after  Lady  Caroline 
Eden,  wife  of  the  last  Colonial  Governor,  and  sister  of  the  sixth  Lord 
Baltimore,  the  then  Proprietary.  The  act  prescribed  that  the  public 
business  should  be  conducted  at  "Melvin's  Warehouse,"  (on  the 
Choptank  just  above  Denton),  until  a  court  house  and  prison  could 
be  constructed  at  "Pig  Point,"  where  the  county-seat  was  to  be  then 
located  and  known  as  "Eden-Town."  The  naming  of  Caroline  and 
Eden  Streets  in  the  City  of  Baltimore  was  a  like  compliment  to 
Governor  and  Lady  Eden. 

The  name  of  Lady  Caroline  Calvert  is  perpetuated,  but  "Eden- 
Town"  is  hardly  recognizable  in  Denton.  Local  self-government  in 
Caroline  concerned  itself  for  a  quarter  of  a  century  with  a  county-seat 
fight.  In  March,  1779,  the  "seat  of  justice"  was  removed  to  ''Chop- 
tank  Bridge"  by  the  Assembly,  which  in  the  succeeding  November, 
spurred  by  indignant  remonstrants,  hastily  enacted  a  "suspension"  of 
the  law  for  seven  years.  In  1785  the  Assembly  repealed  the  county- 
seat  provision  of  1773,  referring  to  "Eden-Town"  as  "Edenton,"  and 
named  Joseph  Richardson,  Jr.,  William  Whitely,  John  White,  Phile- 
mon Downes  and  David  Robinson  commissioners  to  erect  public 
buildings  at  "Melville's  Warehouse,"  the  county-seat  thus  established 
to  be  known  '  'forever  hereafter' '  as  '  'Perrysburgh. ' '  The  next  year  this 
act,  too,  was  "suspended,"  and  petitions  favoring  "Choptank  Bridge" 
and  a  site  at  the  "center  of  the  county"  referred  to  the  following 
Assembly.  Finally,  in  1790,  this  war  of  petitions  was  ended  by  a 
referendum,  and  the  Assembly  passed  "An  Act  for  the  removal  of 
the  seat  of  justice  from  Melville's  Warehouse  to  Pig  Point,"  and  the 
county-seat  was  named  Denton.  William  Richardson,  Zabdiel  Potter, 



Joseph  Richardson,  Peter  Edmondson  and  Joshua  Willis  were  desig- 
nated commissioners  under  the  act,  and  four  years  later  Christopher 
Driver,  William  Robinson,  Philemon  Downes  and  Thomas  Loocker- 
man  were  joined  with  Joseph  Richardson.  The  court  house,  modeled 
after  Independence  Hall  in  Philadelphia,  was  completed  in  1797  and 
stood  until  1895,  when  it  was  replaced  by  the  present  structure. 

The  outcome  of  the  county-seat  "war"  was  slowly  acquiesced  in 
by  some  county  dignitaries,  for  the  Legislature  in  1 794  commanded 
certain  of  them  to  maintain  offices  in  Denton.  The  isolated  town  site 
was  made  accessible  by  land  by  the  laying  out  of  roads  westward  and 
eastward  to  connect  with  established  highways. 

Of  the  fifty-one  terms  of  the  Caroline  County  Court  held  from 
March,  1774,  to  March,  17Q1,  five  were  at  "Choptank  Bridge" 
("Bridgetown"),  now  Greensboro,  and  all  the  others  at  "Melville's 
Warehouse."  The  question  of  holding  to  the  county-seat  clause  of 
the  Act  of  1773  or  making  "Choptank  Bridge"  the  county-seat  was 
put  before  the  voters  at  the  election  of  Delegates  to  the  Assembly  in 
1790.  The  poll  for  the  "Pig  Point  or  Lower  Candidates  "  was:  Philip 
Walker,  471;  Henry  Downes,  473;  William  Robinson,  475;  Joseph 
Douglass,  472.  That  for  the  "Choptank  Bridge  or  Upper  Candi- 
dates" was:  William  Whitely,  283;  William  Banckes,  285;  Thomas 
Mason,  282,  and  Hawkins  Downes,  274. 

The  first  court  sat  at  "Melville's  Warehouse"  on  March  15,  16, 
17,  1774,  the  justices  named  in  the  commission  being  Charles  Dickin- 
son, William  Haskins,  Thomas  White,  Richard  Mason,  Joshua  Clarke, 
(these  five  of  the  quorum) ;  Benson  Stainton,  Nathaniel  Potter, 
William  Richardson,  Matthew  Driver,  Jr.  George  Fitzhugh  was 
appointed  Clerk,  William  Hopper,  Sheriff;  Robert  Goldsborough  IV, 
"Prosecutor  of  the  Pleas  of  the  Crown  and  Clerk  of  Indictments." 
Other  county  officers  were  William  Richardson,  deputy  clerk;  Ben- 
jamin Sylvester  and  Robert  Dixon,  coroners ;  Thomas  Mason,  Thomas 
Wynn  Loockerman,  John  Webb,  John  Cooper,  Francis  Stevens,  sub- 
sheriffs;  Christopher  Driver,  Joshua  Willis,  James  Cooper,  Solomon 
Mason,  Nathan  Downes,  constables,  the  court  dividing  the  county 
into  five  hundreds — ^Bridgetown,  Great  Choptank,  Fork,  Choptank 
and  Tuckahoe.    At  the  August  term  the  first  juries  were  drawn : 




Ezekiel  Hunter 
Samuel  Jackson,  Sr. 
Isaac  Baggs 
Giles  Hicks 
Peter  Jumpe 
Philip  French 
Richard  Andrews 
William  Salisbury 
Waitman  Goslin 
Aaron  Alford 
Maccabees  Alford 
James  Lecompte,  Jr. 
Solomon  Hubbert 

Abraham  Collins 
William  Peters 
John  West 
Oneal  Price 
Athel  Stewart 
1  homas  Garrett 
John  Covey 
William  Smith  (Fork) 
Andrew  Fountain 

Petit  Jury 
Robert  Hardcastle 
Thomas  Hughlett 
John  Robertson 
John  Dehorty 
Jacob  Rumbley 
John  Mitchell 
Jere:  Colston 
Thomas  Penington 
Edward  White 
William  Bell 
Thomas  Noel 
Aaron  Downes 
Morgan  Williams 

Orphans"  Jury 
Henry  Stafford 
Thomas  Smith 
William  Bradley 
John  Stevens  (Forest) 
Jonathan  Clifton 
David  Sylvester 

And  eleven  grand 

The  Caroline  "warehouses' '  of  colonial  days,  around  which  clus- 
tered the  commercial  life  of  the  period,  were  "Melville's,"  "Hunting 
Creek,"  "Tuckahoe  Bridge,"  (now  Hillsboro) ;  "Bridgetown"  and 
"North- West  Fork,"  (now  Federalsburg) . 

Nathaniel  Potter  and  Isaac  Bradley  were  elected  Burgesses,  (Dele- 
gates to  the  General  Assembly),  in  April,  1774,  Richardson  and  White 
retaining  their  seats,  but  White  alone  appeared  in  the  Lower  House 
at  the  March  Session,  1 774,  the  last  Colonial  Legislature.  Until  Mary- 
land became  a  free  and  independent  State  in  1776,  the  Province  was 
ruled  by  conventions.  With  Benson  Stainton  and  Thomas  Golds- 
borough  the  four  were  sent  to  the  Convention  of  1774  by  the  mass- 
meeting  at  "Melville's  Warehouse"  which  passed  the  "Caroline 
Resolutions,"  affirming  loyalty  to  George  III,  but  proposing  an 
embargo  on  importations  from  Great  Britain  by  an  association  of 
the  American  Colonies  until  the  Boston  Port  Bill  should  be  repealed. 

As  the  struggle  for  independence  drew  nearer,  public  sentiment 
in  Caroline  turned  sharply  to  separation  from  England.  When 
Thomas  Johnson,  who  was  a  little  later  to  nominate  George 
Washington  for  commander-in-chief,  and  to  become  the  first  Governor 
of  the  State  of  Maryland,  was  refused  a  seat  in  the  Convention  of 
1776  from  the  other  side  of  the  Chesapeake,  "the  firebrand  of  the 
Revolution"  was  promptly  placed  on  the  Caroline  delegation — an 
offer  of  a  constituency  that  decided  Johnson's  place  in  American 
history  as  a  statesman,  and  had  a  far-reaching  effect  throughout  the 
colonies  upon  the  course  of  events. 

U^  (JiiA/'CiynL   b/,    UuJ^ 


Antedating  Revolution 

WHEN  "Skillington's  Right"  was  surveyed  in  1663,  and  "Rich- 
ardson's Folly,"  1,400  acres,  in  1667  for  John  Edmondson,  they 
were  "reputed  to  be  in  Talbot" ;  and  John  Richardson,  later  taking  up 
"Willenbrough,"  qSi  acres,  surveyed  November  14,  1678,  invoked 
the  aid  of  the  Colonial  Land  Office  to  straighten  out  a  tangle  of  boun- 
daries. A  tax  return  for  Great  Choptank  Hundred  of  Caroline  County 
in  1782  assessed  1,394  acres  of  the  tracts  named  "Skillington's  Right," 
"Richardson's  Folly,"  "Barnett's  Purchase,"  "Plain  Dealing,"  and 
"Sharp's  Cost,  "  to  William  Frazier.  The  area  fronting  on  the  Great 
Choptank  River  between  Skillington's  and  Edmondson's  Creeks  has 
long  been  known  as  "Frazier's  Neck."  Dover  Bridge,  the  sole  one 
across  the  river  from  the  Chesapeake  Bay  to  Denton,  is  a  short  dis- 
tance above  Edmondson's  Creek. 



Since  the  time  of  Capt.  William  Frazier,  the  plantation  upon  which 
this  house  stands  has  been  called  "Frazier's  Flats."  A  colony  of 
Hollanders  was  established  on  the  property  two  decades  ago  and 
named  "Wilhelmina,"  after  the  Dutch  Queen.  The  plantation  is  now 
divided  into  eight  farms,  the  one  upon  which  the  house  is  located 
being  owned  by  George  W.  Lankford.  The  house,  the  finest  specimen 
of  colonial  architecture  extant  on  the  upper  Choptank,  is  traditionally 
said  to  be  one  of  eight  pretentious  brick  dwellings  of  contemporary 
construction  in  this  region.  Another,  (one  of  four  that  have  been 
destroyed  by  fire),  stood  on  "Poplar  Grove,"  on  the  lower  side  of 
Skillington's  Creek,  the  home  of  Capt.  Charles  S.  Carmine,  father  of 
Capt.  G.  Creighton  Carmine,  U.  S.  Coast  Guard,  and  of  Mrs.  B. 
Washington  Wright,  the  present  owner  of  "Poplar  Grove"  home- 
stead. A  third  is  the  "Jamaica  Point"  house,  on  the  opposite  side 
of  the  Choptank  in  Talbot,  and  a  fourth  the  "Warwick  Fort  Manor" 
house  at  the  mouth  of  Warwick  River — Secretary's  Creek — in  Dor- 
chester. Much  of  the  original  furniture  of  the  "Frazier's  Flats" 
house,  remaining  in  it  until  a  generation  ago,  was  made  in  Drury 
Lane,  London. 

Capt.  William  Frazier  came  from  Talbot,  and  was  a  militia  officer 
of  the  Revolution.  He  figured  largely  in  Caroline  affairs  after  taking 
up  his  residence  east  of  the  Choptank;  was  a  Justice  of  the  Caroline 
County  Court  for  some  years  prior  to  i  /qo ;  long  in  the  commission  of 
the  peace,  and  died  in  1808.  He  was  a  leader  in  organizing  Methodist 
societies  in  lower  Caroline,  and  the  second  house  of  Methodist  worship 
in  the  county  was  "Frazier's  Chapel,"  said  by  Capt.  Charles  W.  Wright 
to  have  been  located  on  the  site  of  the  town  of  Preston,  and  to  have 
been  the  forerunner  of  Bethesda  congregation,  out  of  which  grew 
Preston  M.  E.  Church.  The  Bethesda  records  are  continuous  from 
1 797.  An  intimate  friend  of  Francis  Asbury,  the  greatest  of  Methodist 
itinerants  in  his  journeyings  along  the  Atlantic  seaboard  was  often 
the  guest  of  Captain  Frazier.  "Dover  Ferry,"  across  the  Choptank, 
named  from  the  old  town  of  "Dover"  on  the  Talbot  side,  joined  the 
road  from  Easton  with  that  leading  from  the  eastern  Choptank  bank 
to  lower  Delaware,  and  this  road  ran  across  the  front  of  the  Frazier 
plantation,  the  house  standing  a  mile  from  the  entrance  gate.  Dover 
Bridge  is  some  distance  above  the  old  ferry.  Jesse  Lee,  traveling  with 



Asbury  in  May,  i/qq,  from  Easton,  over  "Dover  Ferry,"  speaks  of 
their  spending  the  night  at  William  Frazier's : 

This  place  was  once  a  home  for  me  when  I  rode  this  circuit,  almost 
fourteen  years  ago.  I  was  truly  thankful  to  the  Lord  for  bringing  me  here 
once  more. 

Asbury 's  journal  of  the  same  date  says  "we  held  meeting  in  his 
[Frazier's]  dwelling  house,"  and  further  records: 

May,  1 80 1 — We  had  a  long  ride  [from  Cambridge]  to  William  Frazier's, 
through  dust  and  excessive  heat.  It  was  hard  to  leave  loving  souls,  so 
we  tarried  until  morning. 

April,  1805— We  came  to  brother  Frazier's.  The  fierceness  of  the 
wind  made  Choptank  impassable;  we  had  to  rest  awhile,  and  need  had  I, 
being  sore  with  hard  service. 

March,  1806 — I  stay  at  Captain  Frazier's,  Caroline  County.  My 
hoarseness  is  afflictive,  but  my  soul  is  filled  with  God.  ...  I  only 
exhorted  a  little  at  Frazier's  Chapel. 

May,  1 807 — At  Easton  we  met  Joseph  Everett,  who  conducted  us  to 
William  Frazier's  to  dine. 

April,  iqi3 — Rode  15  miles  to  preach  in  Frazier's  Chapel. 

Capt.  William  H.  Smith  and  Mrs.  Smith,  parents  of  H.  Dimmock 
Smith,  of  Baltimore,  lived  at  "Frazier's  Flats"  for  about  25  years 
from  1859,  the  property  having  been  left  Mrs.  Smith,  (Miss  Henrietta 
Maria  Frazier  Dimmock),  by  her  great  aunt,  the  widow  of  Captain 
Frazier,  after  whom  she  was  named.  Mrs.  Smith  was  a  daughter  of 
Capt.  Charles  Dimmock,  of  Richmond,  Virginia,  an  officer  of  the 
old  army,  and  a  West  Pointer,  who  went  into  the  Confederacy  with 
his  State.  Captain  Smith,  a  civil  engineer,  built  the  former  Dover 
Bridge,  and  was  later  right-of-way  agent  of  the  Baltimore  and  Ohio 
Railroad  between  the  Susquehanna  and  the  Schuylkill. 


Built  i68i 

AS  soon  as  a  community  of  settlers  had  been  formed  in  early  Mary- 
L  land,  a  grist  mill  made  its  appearance,  and  these  were  the  first 
manufacturing  plants  of  the  Colony.  The  pioneers  could  make  or 
import  their  clothing  and  furniture,  and  grow  and  prepare  for  the 
table  many  food  products  upon  their  land  holdings,  but  an  indis- 
pensable adjunct  of  every  settlement  was  the  old-time  grist  mill,  on 
the  bank  of  a  stream  which  furnished  power  to  turn  its  wheel.  These 
mills  were  geographical  landmarks  that  still  survive,  in  many  cases, 
in  place-names.  For  instance,  the  nomenclature  of  Worcester  County's 
old  election  districts  was  taken  from  its  mills,  and  these  in  all  parts 
of  the  Eastern  Shore  have  an  interesting  history. 

The  first  mention  of  a  mill  at  the  site  of  the  present  Linchester 
is  found  in  the  Dorchester  Rent  Roll,  where  a  survey  of  May  20, 
1682,  for  Thomas  Pattison,  is  described  as  being  on  Hunting  Creek, 
"above  the  mill-dam."  Until  1881,  Linchester  was  known  as  "Upper 
Hunting  Creek,"  and  the  "Upper  Hunting  Creek  Mill"  for  200  years 
had  been  an  important  point  in  that  territory.    Both  sides  of  the 



creek  were  settled  at  an  early  period.  Before  the  Revolution  the  mill 
became  the  property  of  Col.  James  Murray,  upon  whose  plantation 
were  70  persons.  In  May,  177Q,  the  Council  of  Safety  at  Annapolis 
was  assured  that  flour,  then  greatly  needed  for  the  Maryland  troops 
with  the  Continental  Army,  could  be  had  "at  the  head  of  Hunting 
Creek,"  from  Murray's  Mill.  About  1800  the  mill  was  rebuilt  by 
Wright  and  Corkran,  and  a  large  portion  of  the  old  structure  still 
stands,  although  the  interior  has  been  remodeled  for  the  introduction 
of  modern  roller-process  machinery,  and  steam  power  provided  as  an 
auxiliary  to  that  of  water ;  but  the  huge  undershot  wheel  is  as  ready 
as  ever  to  perform  its  duty  whenever  there  is  a  "head"  of  water. 

The  southern  boundary  of  Caroline  County  in  the  Act  of  1773 
was  fixed  by  this  mill,  among  other  landmarks: 

Beginning  at  a  point  on  the  north  side  of  the  mouth  of  Hunting 
Creek  in  Dorchester  County,  and  from  thence  running  up  and  with  the 
said  creek  to  the  main  road  at  James  Murray's  Mill ;  thence  with  that  road 
by  Saint  Mary's  White-Chapel  Parish  Church  to  the  North-West  Fork 
Bridge;  thence  with  the  main  road  (that  leads  to  Cannon's  Ferry)  to 
Nanticoke  River  to  and  with  the  exterior  limits  of  the  aforesaid  County 
of  Dorchester  to  the  exterior  limits  of  Queen  Anne's  County,  [etc.] 

The  Delaware  boundary  was  reached  at  Johnson's  Cross  Roads, 
before  the  new  county  line  extended  to  the  Nanticoke  River. 

St.  Mary's  White-Chapel  Church  had  been  built  in  1755,  the 
parish,  almost  co-extensive  with  the  later  Caroline  County,  having 
been  taken  from  Great  Choptank  Parish  in  1725,  the  parish  church 
at  Cambridge  being  inaccessible  to  the  upper  part  of  Dorchester. 
After  1776  the  church  fell  into  disuse,  and  about  18 12  was  torn  down. 

James  Murray  was  assessed  with  2,551  acres  of  land  in  Caroline 
County  in  1782,  the  land  names  being  "Mischance,"  "The  Plains," 
"Point  Ridge,"  "Summers'  Ridge,"  "Taylor's  Kindness,"  (surveyed 
1 6th  June,  1674,  for  John  Edmondson  "on  the  south  side  Great 
Choptank  River  in  Hunting  Creek");  "Andrews'  Desire,"  (surveyed 
5th  January,  17 18,  for  Richard  Andrews,  "in  the  woods  on  the  north 
side  a  branch  of  Hunting  Creek");  "Harry's  Valley,"  "Joseph's 
Valley,"  "Addition  to  David's  Venture,"  "Square  Chance,"  "Willis's 
Lot,"  "Bank  of  Pleasure,  "  "Conna way's  Beginning,"  "Murray's  Pre- 
vention," "David's  First  Venture,"  "Murray's  Adventure,"  "Nehe- 
miah's  Venture." 


Built  1808 

ZABDIEL  POTTER,  a  sea  captain  from  Rhode  Island,  and  a  scion 
of  the  noted  colonial  family  of  that  name  in  New  England,  came 
up  the  Choptank  before  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
made  his  home  in  the  vicinity  where  "Coquericus  Creek,"  known 
only  to  this  generation  by  its  appearance  on  the  records,  entered  the 
river.  "Coquericus  Fields,"  of  600  acres,  was  surveyed  June  16,  1673, 
for  Thomas  Phillips,  and  "Coquericus  Creek"  became  "Phillips' 
Creek."  Later  surveys  gave  "Lloyd's  Hill  Improved"  and  "Lloyd's 
Grove"  to  the  Potter  holdings,  these  three  tracts  being  owned  in  1782 
by  Dr.  Zabdiel  Potter. 

The  original  settler  built  a  small  brick  house  on  the  knoll  over- 
looking the  river  160  or  more  years  ago,  and  made  "Potter's  Landing" 
a  point  of  commercial  importance  on  the  upper  river.  In  those  days 
vessels  sailed  directly  to  British  ports  with  tobacco,  the  colonial  crop, 
from  the  northeast  branch  of  the  Choptank,  and  brought  back  car- 
goes of  the  many  things  the  colonists  had  to  import.  Capt.  Zabdiel 
Potter  commanded  one  of  these  vessels,  and,  in  1760,  "being  bound 



on  a  voyage  to  sea,"  with  its  attending  uncertainties,  he  made  a  will, 
which  was  probated  in  1761. 

Two  sons  survived  him.  Dr.  Zabdiel  Potter  and  Nathaniel  Potter. 
Both  were  especially  active  during  the  Revolution,  and  Nathaniel 
served  in  the  Maryland  Conventions.  Nathaniel,  who  never  married, 
died  in  1783,  and  Dr.  Zabdiel  Potter  ten  years  later.  One  son  of  the 
latter,  born  in  the  original  home,  became  Dr.  Nathaniel  Potter,  a 
founder  of  the  School  of  Medicine  of  the  University  of  Maryland,  and 
a  Baltimore  practitioner  and  teacher  of  widespread  fame.  William 
Potter,  the  second  son,  who  built  the  "Potter  Mansion,"  died  in  1847, 
and  is  buried  near  the  house,  where  his  wife,  a  daughter  of  Col.  Wil- 
liam Richardson,  also  lies.  He  became  a  brigadier-general  of  the 
Maryland  Militia,  after  long  service  in  lower  ranks;  was  three  times  a 
member  of  the  Governor's  Council,  and  its  "first-named"  in  1816  and 
1 83 1,  ranking  next  to  the  Governor  in  the  State  administration;  and 
was  repeatedly  elected  to  the  Legislature. 

General  Potter  left  one  son,  Zabdiel  Webb  Potter,  who  died  in 
Cecil  in  1855.  While  none  of  the  Potter  name  are  now  in  Caroline, 
General  Potter  has  a  number  of  descendants  in  Baltimore  City  and 
elsewhere  in  the  State.  Dr.  Walter  S.  Turpin,  of  Church  Hill,  Queen 
Anne's  County,  married  Ann  Webb  Richardson  Potter,  and  after  her 
death  married  her  sister,  Maria  C.  Potter,  both  daughters  of  General 
Potter.  Commander  Walter  S.  Turpin,  U.S.  Navy,  is  his  great-grand- 
son, and  among  other  descendants  in  Queen  Anne's  is  Mrs.  J.  Spencer 
Wright,  (formerly  Miss  Annie  W.  R.  Turpin),  a  granddaughter.  The 
late  William  S.  Potter,  of  Baltimore  City,  was  General  Potter's 
grandson,  and  the  only  son  of  Zabdiel  Webb  Potter. 

After  the  death  of  General  Potter,  the  property  was  bought  by 
Col.  Arthur  John  Willis,  who  lived  there  until  his  death  in  i88q. 
Colonel  Willis  maintained  the  social  traditions  of  the  old  homestead, 
and  the  standing  of  "Potter's  Landing"  as  the  chief  business  center  of 
Caroline  County.  It  had  been  called  "Potter's  Town"  earlier  in  the 
century,  and  was  the  leading  shipping  point  of  Caroline  County  from 
the  first  Zabdiel  Potter's  time,  until  after  the  Civil  War.  Both  Gen- 
eral Potter  and  Colonel  Willis  kept  lines  of  sailing  vessels  in  the 
Baltimore  trade,  and  until  the  late  nineties,  the  river  was  the  one  route 
of  communication  of  central  and  lower  Caroline  with  the  State's 



metropolis.  Colonel  Willis  was  an  active  and  influential  Union  man 
during  the  Civil  War.  initiated  the  raising  of  the  First  Eastern  Shore 
Regiment,  Maryland  Volunteers,  four  companies  of  which  were 
recruited  at  "Potter's  Landing" ;  represented  the  United  States  abroad 
at  a  critical  period  of  the  war,  and  served  in  the  field  during  the  1 863 
campaign.  He  was  elected  to  the  Senate  of  Maryland  in  1 849  and  1 863 , 
and  also  served  in  the  House  of  Delegates.  The  post  office  name  of 
"Potter's  Landing  "  was  changed  to  Williston  in  memory  of  Colonel 
Willis.  One  of  his  daughters,  Mary  Virginia,  married  B.  Gootee 
Stevens,  and  Mrs.  William  D.  Uhler,  wife  of  the  State  highway 
engineer  of  Pennsylvania;  Mrs.  H.  Earle  Smith,  of  Denton,  and 
Mrs.  Elmer  E.  Wheeler,  of  Baltimore  City,  are  granddaughters  of 
Colonel  Willis. 

The  brilliant  social  regime  at  the  "Potter  Mansion"  during  the 
lifetime  of  General  Potter  and  of  Colonel  Willis  ended  with  the  death 
of  the  latter,  the  house  since  having  been  partly  occupied  by  tenants. 
The  kitchen  wing  of  the  building  is  the  original  structure  erected  by 
Zabdil  Potter  in  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century.  When  the 
property  was  sold  by  the  heirs  of  Colonel  Willis,  three  years  ago,  it 
was  purchased,  with  the  wharf  and  other  buildings,  by  Lawrence  B. 
Towers,  Clerk  of  the  Circuit  Court  for  Caroline  County.  The  Towers 
Wharf  property,  just  below  on  the  river,  is  owned  by  his  brother, 
Thomas  Frederick  Towers— this  being  the  homestead  of  their  father, 
William  Frank  Towers,  and  where  Chairman  Albert  Garey  Towers, 
of  the  Maryland  Public  Service  Commission,  and  his  elder  brother, 
Lawrence,  were  born.  The  younger  brother  was  born  at  "Gilpin's 
Point,"  also  a  homestead  of  this  family,  and  famous  in  a  bygone  day 
as  the  home  of  Col.  William  Richardson,  (173 5- 1825). 

Colonel  Richardson  is  buried  on  the  place,  which  lies  opposite  the 
mouth  of  the  Tuckahoe,  and  was  surveyed  in  1683  as  ''Mulrain." 
He  gave  his  seat  in  the  Convention  of  1776  to  Thomas  Johnson;  was 
colonel  of  the  only  Eastern  Shore  Battalion  of  the  Flying  Camp, 
which  at  Harlem  Heights  made  the  first  bayonet  charge  of  the 
Revolution.  From  January  i,  1777,  until  his  resignation  on  October 
22,  1779,  he  commanded  the  Fifth  Regiment  of  the  Maryland  Line, 
John  Eager  Howard  being  its  lieutenant-colonel.  He  held  many 
public  offices,  and  died  as  Treasurer  of  the  Eastern  Shore. 


Near  Denton 

STANDING  in  a  grove  on  the  north  side  of  the  road  leading  west- 
ward from  the  Choptank  River  at  Denton,  and  a  short  distance 
from  the  river,  this  homely  and  weatherbeaten  wooden  structure  has 
for  several  generations  been  a  landmark  of  the  "Logan's  Horns" 
tract.  For  years,  however,  no  religious  service  has  been  held  in  it, 
and  the  "Neck  Meeting"  of  Friends,  which  sent  reports  in  the  first 
and  middle  quarters  of  the  nineteenth  century  from  this  house  of 
worship  to  the  next  higher  meeting,  the  Third  Haven  Monthly  Meet- 
ing at  Easton,  which  kept  the  records,  has  passed  entirely  out  of 
existence.  No  members  of  the  "Neck  Meeting"  are  left  in  the  com- 
munity, and  far  and  wide  are  scattered  the  descendants  of  those  who 
once  gathered  here  for  prayer  and  praise. 

Early  in  the  last  century,  or  in  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth, 
this  property  passed  to  the  Friends  from  the  Nicolites,  a  small  sect 
very  similar  in  thought  and  practice,  but  of  independent  origin.  The 
"Neck  Meeting  House,"  so  called  from  its  location  on  the  upper  verge 
of  Tuckahoe  Neck,  is  the  last  of  the  three  places  of  worship  that 
belonged  to  the  Nicolites  on  the  Maryland  and  Delaware  Peninsula. 

[  i6q 


Their  founder,  Joseph  Nicol,  born  in  Delaware  near  the  Caroline 
border  about  1 700,  was  wild  and  thoughtless  in  his  youth,  and  fore- 
most in  the  rude  merrymaking  and  worse  of  a  band  that  then  infested 
the  State  line  of  the  same  character  as  that  described  in  George  Alfred 
Townsend's  "Entailed  Hat."  The  sudden  death  of  a  comrade  at  a 
dance  impressed  Nicol,  and  he  became  quiet  and  meditative.  When 
he  spoke  of  the  serious  problems  of  life  and  the  importance  of  being 
prepared  for  certain  death,  it  was  with  such  power  and  fervor  that 
many  people  assembled  to  hear  him  discourse.  Meeting  places  were 
provided,  but  he  never  promised  to  "preach."  He  said  he  intended 
to  be  "obedient"  only.  He  was  the  sole  leader  of  his  sect,  and  with 
his  death,  while  yet  in  the  prime  of  manhood,  his  followers  seem  to 
have  been  absorbed  by  the  Friends,  "who  were  then  at  the  zenith  of 
their  zeal  for  reforms  in  the  world  which  have  since  largely  been 
made,  if  we  except  the  great  question  of  war,"  writes  Wilson  M. 
Tylor,  of  Easton.  "The  Nicolites  were  quietists  in  form  and  endeav- 
ored to  lead  the  simple  life,"  according  to  Mr.  Tylor: 

I  well  remember  the  last  remaining  Nicolite.  With  his  death  the  departing 
ray  of  flickering  light  from  that  sect  forever  set.  His  name  was  Elisha  Meloney, 
(remembered  still,  perhaps,  by  some  of  the  older  citizens  of  Caroline),  who  died 
about  the  beginning  of  the  Civil  War.  He  lived  between  the  farms  of  Col. 
Richard  C.  Carter  and  Capt.  Robert  W.  Emerson,  on  the  road  leading  from 
Denton  to  Hillsboro.  He  was  a  real  Samaritan.  Elisha  Meloney  never  identi- 
fied himself  with  Friends,  though  he  attended  the  "Neck  Meeting"  regularly 
until  his  death. 

In  the  graveyard  of  the  "Neck  Meeting  House"  lie  a  few  of  the 
former  members  of  this  Friends'  organization,  among  them  the  par- 
ents of  Mr.  Tylor,  whose  brother,  J.  Edward  Tylor,  now  owns  the 
property,  title  having  been  given  him  by  the  Third  Haven  Monthly 
Meeting,  with  the  sanction  of  the  General  Assembly  of  1904. 

And  a  sheltering  place  for  the  birds  of  the  air 

May  this  house  become,  where  once  echoed  prayer. 

But  the  Spirit  of  God  is  above  heat  and  frost. 

And  the  echoes  of  prayer  can  never  be  lost. 

The  life  of  a  Christian  for  ages  may  gleam. 

Though  his  sect  cannot  wear  Christ's  coat  without  seam — 

are  the  concluding  lines  of  a  poem  on  Joseph  Nicol's  life  and  work 
written  by  the  late  Miss  Rachel  B.  Sattherthwaite,  of  Talbot,  a  half- 
sister  of  Mr.  Tylor. 

[  170] 

Built  1783 

ON  one  of  the  gables  of  this  fine  specimen  of  colonial  architecture, 
built  at  the  close  of  the  Revolution,  is  the  legend,  traced  in  the 
customary  way,  "B.  S.,  1783."  These  initials  testify  to  the  identity 
of  the  builder,  Benjamin  Silvester.  Many  land  grants  in  this  region 
of  Caroline  run  in  the  names  of  Silvester,  Purnell  and  Boon,  dating 
back  a  hundred  or  more  years  before  Benjamin  Silvester  erected 
this  house  upon  one  of  them. 

"The  Golden  Lyon,"  August  5,  1675,  ^00  acres;  "Mischiefe," 
March  2,  1679,  ^oo  acres;  "Bear  Garden,"  July  24,  1683,  353  acres; 
"Silvester's Forrest,"  August  3, 1682,  250  acres;  "Silvester's  Addition," 
March  17,  i68q,  214  acres;  "Woodland,"  May  17,  i68q,  100  acres, 
were  surveyed  for  James  Silvester,  and  some  of  these  tracts  were 
"possest"  by  Benjamin  Silvester  and  James  Silvester,  Jr.,  when  the 
rent  roll  of  1722  was  made  up.  Richard  Purnell  owned  "The 
Golden  Lyon"  and  "Dudley's  Chance,  '  200  acres,  surveyed  June 
26,  1679.  "Partnership,"  500  acres,  was  surveyed  October  27,  1683, 
for  William  Purnell,  Richard  Purnell,  and  John  Boon;  and  "Pur- 
nell's  Forrest,  "  500  acres,  July  4,  1683,  for  William  Purnell.    In  1722 



it  was  "possest  by  William  Boon,  who  married  Purnell's  widow." 
Other  lands  are  also  mentioned  as  being  held  by  William  Boon  "in 
right  of  his  wife."  "Purnell's  Chance,"  loo  acres,  was  surveyed 
October  27,  1683,  for  William  Purnell,  and  "Purnell's  Addition," 
150  acres,  April  27,  1688,  for  William  and  Richard  Purnell.  William 
Boon  owned  part  of  "The  Oak  Ridge,"  380  acres,  surveyed  November 
25,  1678,  for  John  James  and  John  Boon;  "Boon's  Pleasure,"  250 
acres,  surveyed  February  5,  1720;  "Boon's  Park,"  200  acres,  Novem- 
ber 7,  1679;  "Hiccory  Ridge,"  150  acres,  November  15,  1678,  and 
"Haddon,"  400  acres,  February  3,  i68q,  were  surveyed  for  John 
Boon.  Some  of  these  tracts  were  contiguous  to  or  lay  nearby  "Dicken- 
son's Plains,"  860  acres,  surveyed  for  William  Dickenson  and  Love- 
lace Gorsuch,  ''on  the  east  side  the  main  branch  of  Tuckahoe  Creek." 
"Swanbrook,"  770  acres,  surveyed  1688,  for  Lovelace  Gorsuch,  was, 
like  "Dickenson's  Plains,"  "possest"  by  William  Dickenson  in  1722. 

Benjamin  Silvester  died  in  1797,  and  Isaac  Purnell  was  his  execu- 
tor. In  this  house  was  born  Mrs.  Mary  M.  Bourne,  and  she  inherited 
the  "Oak  Lawn  "  estate  from  her  grandfather,  Benjamin  Silvester, 
and  many  ancestral  acres  in  the  Silvester  and  Purnell  families.  Allen 
Thorndike  Rice,  editor  of  the  North  American  Review,  spent  part  of 
his  boyhood  at  "Oak  Lawn"  with  his  grandmother,  Mrs.  Bourne, 
who  later  had  built  on  "The  Plains,"  nearby,  a  magnificent  summer 
home,  now  converted  into  St.  Gertrude's  Convent  of  the  Benedictine 
Sisters.    Mrs.  Bourne  died  at  Newport,  Rhode  Island,  in  1881. 

"Oak  Lawn"  is  two  and  a  half  miles  from  the  town  of  Ridgely, 
founded  in  1867.  Bayard  Taylor  came  down  the  newly  built  railroad 
from  Clayton  to  Easton  in  1871,  on  a  tour  of  the  Eastern  Shore  and 
breathed  "the  oldest  atmosphere  of  life  "  to  be  found  "anywhere  in 
this  republic."  His  classic  "Down  the  Eastern  Shore"  in  Harper  s 
comments  on  the  English  character  of  the  scenery,  the  attractive 
country  of  Caroline  and  Talbot;  the  estates  and  genealogies  of  the 
region.  The  town  of  Ridgely  was  named  after  Rev.  Greenbury 
W.  Ridgely,  who  lived  at  "Oak  Lawn"  from  1858  until  his  death 
in  1883 — a  native  of  Kentucky,  of  Maryland  lineage,  once  a  law 
partner  at  Lexington  of  Henry  Clay,  and  for  forty  years  before  his 
retirement  to  Caroline  an  active  clergyman  of  the  Episcopal  Church. 

"Oak  Lawn"  is  now  owned  by  John  K.  Lynch. 


Built  1782 

Built  1783 

ANOTHER  example  of  eighteenth  century  brick  architecture  in 
L  the  region  between  the  Choptank  and  the  Tuckahoe — where 
agricultural  development  has  in  the  past  two  decades  reached  a 
remarkably  high  point — is  "Cedarhurst,"  on  the  Oakland -Greens- 
boro road.  This  is  one  of  the  Boon  houses,  built  in  1782;  another  is 
that  on  the  "Marblehead"  farm,  in  the  same  neighborhood. 

John  Boon  was  the  owner  of  "Marblehead"  early  in  the  last  cen- 
tury, the  plantation  being  made  up  by  him  from  various  tracts.  The 
doors  and  mantels  and  interior  woodwork  of  these  two  houses  speak 
eloquently  of  the  consummate  art  of  the  olden-time  carpenters  and 
joiners.  The  first-floor  windows  of  "Marblehead"  are  high  above  the 
ground,  and  give  a  fortress-like  air  to  the  structure.  It  passed  out  of 
the  Boon  family  connection  when  the  heirs  of  William  Boon  Massey, 
in  1Q04,  sold  it  to  Irwin  T.  and  Albert  G.  Saulsbury,  of  Ridgely,  sons 
of  James  Keene  Saulsbury,  one  of  the  founders  of  that  town.  "Cedar- 
hurst," another  Massey  property,  was  sold  about  the  same  time,  and 
for  some  years  has  been  the  home  of  James  H.  Pippin. 

[  173  ] 


Ten  miles  to  the  south  of  "Cedarhurst'  and  "Marblehead,"  on 
the  north  bank  of  the  Tuckahoe  River,  (no  longer  designated  as 
"creek"  since  it  became  known  to  the  Rivers  and  Harbor  Bill),  is  a 
third  house  of  like  age.  This  is  called  the  "Thawley  House,"  (origin- 
ally the  "Daffin  House"),  from  its  late  owner,  William  H.  Thawley, 
of  Hillsboro,  whose  widow  and  children  now  have  title  to  the  property. 
It  faces  a  public  road,  with  a  view  of  the  picturesque  stream  of  the 
Tuckahoe  at  the  back,  and  was  built  by  Thomas  Daffin  in  1783.  The 
Daffin  family  was  prominent  in  the  early  history  of  Caroline,  and 
Charles  Daffin  was  for  years  a  Justice  of  the  County  Court,  and  held 
many  representative  positions. 

Andrew  Jackson,  of  Tennessee,  attending  the  sessions  at  Phila- 
delphia of  the  Fourth  Congress  as  a  Representative  and  of  the  Fifth 
as  a  Senator,  is  said  to  have  visited  Caroline,  and  to  have  been  a 
guest  at  the  Daffin  home,  as  well  as  at  others  on  the  eastern  bank  of 
the  Choptank.  Here  he  made  the  acquaintance  of  young  Charles 
Dickinson,  whom  he  successfully  urged  to  move  to  Tennessee,  and 
the  sequel  to  their  one-time  friendship  and  amicable  business  relations, 
which  did  not  survive  the  exigencies  of  Tennessee  politics  and  social 
life,  was  the  duel  on  the  Red  River  in  Kentucky  in  which  Dickinson 

[  174] 

Built  1781 

THOMAS  HARDCASTLE,  eldest  son  of  the  original  settler  of 
this  name  on  the  Eastern  Shore,  Robert  Hardcastle,  was  the 
builder  of  this  house.  Its  construction  was  delayed  by  the  Revolu- 
tionary War,  in  which  Peter  Hardcastle,  third  son  of  Robert,  was  a 
Major  of  Continental  troops.  After  the  death  of  Thomas  Hardcastle, 
"Castle  Hall"  was  occupied  by  his  son,  William  MoUeson  Hardcastle, 
(1778- 1 874),  and  its  third  owner  was  Dr.  Alexander  Hardcastle. 
father  of  Alexander  Hardcastle,  Jr.,  of  the  Baltimore  bar.  The  name- 
sake of  Dr.  William  Molleson,  an  early  physician  at  "Bridgetown" 
and  a  prominent  patriot  in  Caroline  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution, 
William  Molleson  Hardcastle  was  eleven  times  elected  to  the  Mary- 
land Assembly.  He  married  Anna,  daughter  of  Henry  Colston,  of 
Talbot,  and  two  of  their  sons — ^Alexander,  and  Edward  B.,  of  Talbot — 
were  physicians.  The  former  practiced  for  many  years  at  "Castle 
Hall,"  and  married  a  daughter  of  U.  S.  Senator  Arnold  Naudain,  of 
Delaware.  His  later  years  were  spent  in  Denton,  where  he  died 
January  24,  191 1,  in  his  seventy-fifth  year. 

Robert  Hardcastle  came  from  England,  and  in   1748  patented 



lands  in  Queen  Anne's  County,  (later  included  in  Caroline).  His  home- 
stead was  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Choptank,  above  "Brick  Mills."  Of 
his  several  sons,  some  removed  to  Virginia  and  the  Western  territory. 
The  eldest  of  Thomas'  eight  sons,  Aaron  Hardcastle,  was  the  father 
of  Edward  Bourke  Hardcastle,  long  a  merchant  at  Denton,  who 
married  Ann,  daughter  of  Caleb  Lockwood,  of  Delaware.  Their  sons, 
Edmund  LaFayette  and  Aaron  Bascom,  became  officers  in  the  U.  S. 

Edmund  LaFayette  Hardcastle,  the  first  cadet  appointed  from  Caroline  to 
the  West  Point  Military  Academy,  was  named  in  1842  by  Representative  James 
Alfred  Pearce.  He  graduated  in  1846,  fifth,  and  a  "star"  member,  of  his  class 
of  fifty-nine,  McClellan  being  second  and  Pickett  last.  Foster,  Reno,  Couch, 
Seymour,  Gilbert,  Sturgis,  Stoneman,  Oakes,  Palmer,  Gibbs,  Gordon,  Myers, 
Floyd-Jones,  Wilkins,  Whistler,  Davis  later  rose  to  high  rank  in  the  Federal 
Army.  "Stonewall"  Jackson,  (No.  17  in  the  class),  Adams,  Smith,  Maury, 
Jones,  Wilcox,  Gardner,  Maxey  were  the  graduates  who  joined  the  Con- 
federacy. Hardcastle,  with  nine  of  his  classmates,  was  in  civil  life  in  1861,  and 
declined  to  take  sides,  although  offered  high  command. 

As  Second  Lieutenant  of  Topographical  Engineers,  (the  "star"  graduates 
having  choice  of  this  corps),  Hardcastle  was  with  Scott  from  the  siege  of  Vera 
Cruz  to  the  capture  of  the  City  of  Mexico,  rendering  brilliant  service  in  every 
engagement.  Scott  mentioned  him  at  Cerro  Gordo;  "for  gallant  and  meri- 
torious conduct"  at  Contreras  and  Churubusco  he  was  brevetted  First  Lieu- 
tenant, and  Molino  del  Rey  gave  him  a  brevet-Captaincy.  vScott  assigned  him 
to  make  a  survey  for  the  drainage  of  the  City  of  Mexico  and  its  protection  from 
lake  overflows;  he  ran  the  northwestern  Mexican-United  States  boundary 
under  the  Treaty  of  Guadalupe  Hidalgo;  was  first  engineer  secretary  of  the 
Light  House  Board;  planned  the  lighthouses  at  Seven-foot  Knoll,  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Patapsco,  and  on  Minot's  Ledge,  Massachusetts,  two  triumphs  of  engi- 
neering skill;  resigned  from  the  Army  April  30,  1856,  and  settled  in  Talbot, 
on  the  "Plaindealing"  estate,  becoming  one  of  the  largest  landowners  and 
foremost  agriculturists  of  the  county;  delegate  to  the  Charleston  and  Balti- 
more Democratic  conventions  of  1 860 ;  President  of  the  Maryland  and  Dela- 
ware Railroad;  Delegate  in  General  Assembly,  1870,  1878;  appointed  brigadier- 
general  of  the  Maryland  Militia  by  Governors  Groome  and  Carroll;  died 
August  10,  i8qq. 

Aaron  Bascom  Hardcastle,  appointed  from  Caroline  to  the  Army  as  Second 
Lieutenant  of  the  Sixth  Infantry,  by  President  Pierce  in  1855,  was  post  adjutant 
of  Fort  Laramie  when  the  Mormon  Expedition  was  fitted  out,  and  marched 
with  it  under  Albert  Sidney  Johnston  in  the  winter  campaign  of  1857-58. 
Resigning  his  commission  as  First  Lieutenant  at  San  Diego,  Cal.,  in  1861  he 
came  East  with  Johnston,  raised  a  battalion  in  Mississippi,  and  took  it  into 
action  at  Shiloh;  was  a  regimental  commander  at  Missionary  Ridge,  and  in  all 
the  battles  of  the  retreat  through  Georgia.  From  1876  till  his  death,  in  1Q15, 
Colonel  Hardcastle  was  a  resident  of  Easton. 

"Castle  Hall"  is  now  owned  by  J.  Spencer  Lapham,  a  noted  mid- 
Peninsula  agriculturist. 


Built  i/Sq 

PLAINDEALING,"  the  home  of  J.  Boon  Dukes,  a  half  mile  below 
Denton,  on  the  State  road  through  Caroline  County,  has  a  most 
attractive  situation,  and  the  trees,  meadow,  and  well-kept  farmstead 
closely  copy  a  typically  English  rural  scene.  Mr.  Dukes,  a  former 
State  Immigration  Commissioner,  and  active  in  the  public  life  of  his 
county  for  a  long  period,  was  born  in  this  house  in  1840,  and  has  lived 
there  ever  since.  His  father,  James  Dukes,  owned  about  2,000  acres 
of  land  on  the  Choptank  River,  between  the  branches  of  Watts' 
Creek,  and  on  both  sides  of  the  old  road  to  "Potter's  Landing."  now 
a  State  highway.  He  added  the  "Plaindealing  "  house  to  his  holdings 
when  it  was  sold  by  the  county  authorities  in  1823,  with  six  acres 
of  ground. 

This  house,  remodeled  since  it  came  into  the  Dukes  family,  was 
built  for  the  county  home  of  the  poor  of  Caroline,  in  i/Sq,  and  its 
original  construction  evidences  that  it  was  the  intention  of  the  County 
Commissioners  of  that  day  to  provide  a  home  for  their  charges  equal 
in  comfort  and  almost  in  dimensions  to  any  private  residence  then 

[  ^77  ] 


extant  in  the  county.  After  being  devoted  to  this  purpose  for  about 
thirty  years,  "Plaindealing"  was  replaced  as  a  county  home  by  a 
farm  much  farther  from  Denton. 

"Plaindealing"  has  been  a  hospitable  social  center  of  the  commun- 
ity for  the  past  ninety  years. 

Watts'  Creek,  a  small  tributary  of  the  Choptank,  has  been  a 
geographical  landmark  since  the  days  of  the  first  settlements  along 
the  upper  Choptank.  Tradition  says  it  once  provided  a  refuge  for 
Captain  Kidd,  whose  "buried  treasure"  has  been  sought  in  its  banks. 
Now  it  is  no  longer  navigable,  even  for  small  boats.  "Rochester"  and 
"Indian  Quarter"  were  surveyed  on  it  in  1665;  "Hampstead,"  "Hall's 
Fortune,  "  "Kirkham's  Discovery,"  "Surveyor's  Forrest,"  in  1682; 
"Apparly,"  "James'  Park,  "  "Rattlesnake  Ridge,"  in  1683;  "Parshar," 
"Hermitage,  "  "Chettell's  Lot,  "  "Chestnut  Ridge,"  and  other  tracts 
after  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century.  The  creek's  branches, 
"markt  trees,"  and  "bounded  gumbs"  are  described  minutely.  "Plain- 
dealing,"  200  acres,  was  surveyed  October  22,  1706. 

James  Dukes  died  in  1842,  and  his  widow  survived  at  "Plain- 
dealing"  until  1882.  She  was  a  daughter  of  John  Boon,  of  "Marble- 
head,"  the  first  State  Senator  from  Caroline  County  elected  by 
popular  vote.  Most  of  the  time  from  181 2  to  1836  he  was  a  Judge 
of  the  Orphans'  Court. 

Referring  to  his  own  identification  with  "Plaindealing,"  Mr. 
Dukes  says  that  he  is  "equally  proud  of  the  fact  that  a  former  slave 
of  the  family,  Herbert,  also  born  and  raised  on  the  place,  has  remained 
with  the  family  to  this  time." 




UNLIKE  the  other  Eastern  Shore  counties,  Wicomico,  youngest 
of  the  nine,  was  created  by  a  Constitutional  Convention,  the 
act  of  which  became  operative  when  ratified  by  the  voters  in  the 
territory  affected.  Four  of  the  twenty-three  Maryland  counties  were 
created  by  Constitutional  Conventions;  two,  (Washington  and  Mont- 
gomery), by  that  of  1776;  one,  (Howard),  by  that  of  1851,  and  the 
fourth,  (Wicomico),  by  that  of  1867.  That  this  section  of  the  old 
Counties  of  Somerset  and  Worcester  was  becoming  so  thickly  popu- 
lated as  to  justify  the  forming  of  a  new  county  has  been  borne  out 
by  the  recent  growth  of  Wicomico  and  its  county-seat,  Salisbury. 
Wicomico  is  easily  accessible  to  the  Chesapeake  Bay,  but  has  no 
extensive  bay  frontage  like  six  of  its  Eastern  Shore  sisters.  Caroline 
is  the  sole  inland  Eastern  Shore  county,  and  Worcester  lies  on  the 

Indians  held  full  sway  in  this  forest-covered  part  of  Maryland 
when  the  charter  of  1632  was  granted  to  Cecilius  Calvert,  and  after 
the  early  settlements  were  made  on  the  "Eastern  Shore"  they  traded 
with  the  Swedes  on  the  Delaware  and  brought  beaver,  wolf  and  other 
skins  of  wild  animals  down  the  Wicomico  and  Nanticoke  Rivers  to 
the  old  settlement  of  "Green  Hill,"  the  erection  of  which  into  a  town 
was  later  authorized  by  Act  of  Assembly,  ( 1 706) .  Little  of  the  geog- 
raphy of  the  country  was  known  to  the  first  colonists,  and  the  rivers 
were  their  only  routes  of  communication  in  that  densely  wooded 
locality.  Not  until  1760  did  the  present  line  between  Sussex  County, 
Delaware,  and  what  is  now  Wicomico  County  become  fixed,  and  in 
1763  Mason  and  Dixon  began  to  run  the  line  between  Maryland  and 
Pennsylvania  and  Delaware. 

The  part  of  the  old  County  of  Somerset  now  embraced  in  Wicom- 
ico is  co-extensive  with  the  western  and  southern  bounds  of  two  of 

[  179] 


the  old  civil  divisions  of  Somerset,  once  known  as  Wicomico  and 
Nanticoke  Hundreds.  Then,  too,  these  bounds  are  almost  identical 
with  the  bounds  of  Stepney  Parish  at  the  time  it  was  laid  out. 

Upon  the  assumption  in  i6q2  of  the  government  of  the  Province 
of  Maryland  by  the  English  Crown,  Sir  Lionel  Copley  was  sent  as 
the  first  royal  Governor  and  he  at  once  had  an  Act  passed  by  the 
Assembly  establishing  by  law  the  Church  of  England  in  the  Province, 
and  in  accordance  with  this  law  each  county  was  divided  into  parishes. 
Of  the  thirty  laid  out  in  the  Province  four  were  in  Somerset  County. 
Stepney  Parish  was  one  of  them,  and  its  bounds  were  about  the  same 
as  the  bounds  of  Wicomico  County.  When  the  freeholders  assembled 
to  lay  out  the  parish  they  met  at  the  house  of  Rev.  John  Hewitt, 
who  was  the  first  rector.  Prior  to  the  making  of  the  Church  of 
England  the  established  church  of  the  Province  all  worship  had  been 
free  and  churches  had  been  supported  by  voluntary  contributions, 
but  then  all  "taxables"  had  to  contribute  to  the  extent  of  forty  pounds 
of  tobacco  per  poll  to  maintain  the  establishment.  Protestant  dis- 
senters and  Quakers  were  allowed  their  separate  meeting  houses  if 
they  paid  the  tax. 

When  "Green  Hill"  was  made  a  town  it  became  a  port  of  entry. 
It  was  laid  out  in  loo  lots  and  on  Lot  i6  Green  Hill  Church  was 
built  in  1733.  One  of  the  chapels  of  ease  of  this  parish  was  known 
in  1768  as  Goddard's  Chapel,  and  as  it  had  become  unfit  for  use  it 
was  ordered  torn  down  and  rebuilt  on  "two  acres  of  land  on  the 
south  side  of  Wicomico  River  and  above  the  branch  whereon  the 
mill  of  William  Venables  is  built."  This  is  the  present  site  of  the 
Episcopal  Church  in  Salisbury. 

Salisbury  was  laid  out  according  to  Act  of  Assembly  in  1732,  and 
is  now  the  largest  town  on  the  Eastern  Shore,  and  has  many  industries 
that  insure  its  still  further  growth  in  the  future.  Situated  on  the 
Wicomico  River,  it  presented  to  the  observer  a  very  unique  position 
prior  to  1867,  inasmuch  as  Division  Street  of  the  town  was  the 
dividing  line  between  Worcester  County  and  Somerset  County.  Those 
living  on  the  east  side  of  the  street  were  obliged  to  go  to  Snow  Hill 
to  attend  to  court  matters,  while  those  on  the  west  side  of  Division 
Street  went  to  Princess  Anne.  This  condition  obtained  for  many 
years  prior  to   1867.  Tired  of  it  and  vexed  by  its  annoyances  the 

[  i8o1 


people  of  Salisbury,  led  by  the  Grahams,  Leonards,  Todds,  Toadvines 
and  Jacksons,  succeeded  in  carrying  the  election  in  favor  of  forming 
the  new  county. 

No  company  of  old  soldiers  at  a  reunion  can  grow  as  animated 
in  reminiscence  as  can  a  party  of  Wicomico  countians,  who  took 
part  in  that  memorable  campaign  of  1867,  when  discussing  its  strenu- 
osities.  All  the  allied  eloquence,  craft  and  political  sagacity  of  the 
leaders  of  all  parties  in  both  Worcester  and  Somerset  were  arrayed 
against  the  "upstarts  '  of  this  section,  which  wanted  to  deprive  them, 
each,  of  one-third  of  their  territory,  and  set  up  the  presumption  that 
Salisbury  could  possibly  be  in  a  class  with  either  Snow  Hill  or  Princess 
Anne.  Geographically  speaking,  brother  was  arrayed  against  brother. 
The  Franklins  and  Joneses  and  Crisfields  and  Dashiells  were  fighting 
the  Grahams  and  Leonards  and  Todds  and  Toadvines  and  Jacksons. 

The  names  of  Wicomico's  first  officials  are  of  men  known  to  every 
Wicomico  countian.  Thomas  F.  J.  Rider  was  chosen  the  first  Clerk 
of  the  Circuit  Court — his  name  is  interwoven  with  much  of  the 
county's  subsequent  history.  Salisbury's  then  leading  merchant, 
William  Birckhead,  was  chosen  the  first  Register  of  Wills,  and  no 
man  could  have  inspired  greater  confidence.  To  Barren  Creek  Dis- 
trict went  the  shrievalty,  William  Howard,  being  the  county's  first 
Sheriff.  Who  can  even  think  of  the  earlier  days  of  the  Salisbury 
Advertiser  without  linking  in  the  same  thought  the  name  of  Lemuel 
Malone,  its  editor,  afterward  by  an  appreciative  Governor  given  the 
title  of  "Colonel"  ?  To  him  was  given  the  honor  of  being  the  county  s 
first  State  Senator.  Ritchie  Fooks  and  George  Hopkins  were  its  first 
Delegates  to  the  General  Assembly. 

For  a  number  of  years  the  county  had  neither  court  house  nor 
jail,  these  being  built  in  1878.  Terms  of  the  Circuit  Court  were  held 
in  Jackson's  Opera  House,  the  various  county  officials  having  offices 
in  nearby  quarters. 

The  names  of  many  living  at  the  time  the  county  was  formed  are 
of  men  who  stood  for  what  was  best  in  civic,  social  and  religious  life, 
whose  very  living  at  that  time,  with  their  active  participation  in  its 
stirring  events,  presaged  successful  and  conservative  business  adminis- 
tration for  the  new  county. 

There  was  Purnell  Toadvine,  a  man  of  affairs,  who  left  large 



impress  upon  his  community;  and  there  was  Gen.  Humphrey  Hum- 
phreys, of  whom  the  same  may  be  said,  and  Col.  William  J.  Leonard, 
William  Birckhead,  whose  name  stood  not  only  for  business  success, 
but  for  personal  probity;  Milton  Parsons,  and  the  tall,  angular,  honest 
John  White;  Hugh  Jackson,  and  his  sons,  Elihu,  William,  Wilbur 
Fisk;  Col.  Samuel  A.  Graham,  Drs.  Marion  F.  and  Albert  Slemons. 
Dr.  H.  Laird  Todd,  Dr.  Kerr,  Josephus  Humphreys,  William  Howard. 
James  Gillis  and  Beauchamp  Gillis,  William  Levi  and  James  Laws; 
Andrew  and  Nelson  Crawford;  Elijah,  William  and  Peter  Freeny, 
King  V.  White,  Isaac  H.  Dulany,  George  Lowe,  George  Hitch. 
These  men  stood  for  much  in  their  county  and  verily  their  deeds  do 
live  after  them,  and  they  have  left  a  goodly  heritage  to  the  old  and 
middle-aged  men  and  women  of  today,  their  sons  and  daughters. 

No  cosmopolite  character  enters  into  the  class  making  up  Wicom- 
ico's citizenship.  Most  of  us  know  who  was  the  grandfather  and  the 
great-grandfather  and  maybe  the  great-great-grandfather  of  nearly 
everybody  else,  and  what  he  was  and  did  and  whence  he  came.  And 
we  are  proud  of  the  knowledge  both  of  what  we  are  and  who  we  are, 
and  what  and  who  our  neighbors  are.  No  community,  so  constituted, 
ever  goes  far  wrong. 

Two  decades  after  its  organization,  Wicomico  added  a  Governor 
of  Maryland  to  the  Eastern  Shore  list.  Elihu  Emory  Jackson,  elected 
in  1887,  was  inaugurated  January  1 1,  1888,  and  remained  the  State's 
Chief  Executive  until  January  13,  iSqi.  The  original  territory  of 
Somerset  has  furnished  two  other  Governors.  Levin  Winder,  of 
Somerset,  held  the  office  from  November  25,  181 2,  until  January  2, 
1 8 16,  and  John  Walter  Smith,  of  Worcester,  was  Governor  from 
January  10,  iqoo,  until  January  13,  1Q04. 

A'  J/l4r?yy  f^MdL 


Built  1733 

OLD  Green  Hill"  Church,  was  built  in  1733  and  stands  on  the  banks 
of  the  Wicomico  River,  partly  hidden  from  view  of  passing  boats 
by  the  great  oaks  that  surround  it.  It  was  the  parish  church  of 
Stepney  Parish,  one  of  the  original  thirty  laid  out  in  ibqi.  The  first 
vestrymen  of  this  parish  were  James  Weatherly,  John  Bounds,  Philip 
Carter,  Robert  Collyer,  Thomas  Holebrook  and  Philip  Askue.  The 
land  on  which  this  relic  of  colonial  days  was  built  was  sold  to  the 
vestry  of  Stepney  Parish  on  April  iq,  173 1,  by  Neal  McClester,  and 
is  described  in  the  deed  as  "all  that  lot  of  land  lying  in  a  place  in  the 
county  aforesaid  called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Green  Hill  Town 
which  by  the  commissioners  for  laying  out  the  said  town  was  num- 
bered sixteen." 

The  chapels  of  ease  of  the  parish  were  "Goddard's  Chapel"  and 
"Spring  Hill  Chapel."  The  first  of  these  had  become  so  dilapidated 
that  the  assembly  authorized  the  vestry  of  Stepney  Parish  "to  pur- 
chase two  acres  of  land  on  the  south  side  of  Wicomico  River  and 
above  the  branch  whereon  the  mill  of  William  Venables  is  built"  and 



to  rebuild  "Goddard  Chapel"  thereon.  This  is  the  present  site  of  the 
Episcopal  church  in  Salisbury.  One  hundred  thousand  pounds  of 
tobacco  were  levied  to  be  collected  in  1768  and  1769  to  rebuild  the 
chapel.  Two  acres  were  purchased  "near  unto  the  place  where  Spring 
Hill  Chapel  now  stands  to  erect  the  new  chapel"  there  in  1768.  For 
this  chapel  sixty  thousand  pounds  of  tobacco  were  levied  to  be  col- 
lected in  1770  and  1771. 

One  of  the  distinguished  sons  of  Somerset  once  rector  of  Stepney 
Parish,  the  Rev.  William  Murray  Stone,  became,  in  1830,  Bishop  of 
the  Diocese  of  Maryland.  At  that  time  the  diocese  was  co-extensive 
with  the  State.  During  the  war  with  Great  Britain  and  until  1 783 
there  was  no  rector  in  Stepney.  Because  of  their  loyalty  to  the  crown 
the  clergy  were  deprived  of  support,  vestries  ceased  to  exist  in  their 
official  capacity  and  the  churches  were  closed  with  few  exceptions. 

The  Rev.  Hamilton  Bell,  Jr.,  was  the  first  rector  of  Stepney 
Parish  under  the  Vestry  Act  of  1779,  which  Act  of  the  Maryland 
Assembly  gave  to  the  churches  the  property  they  had  held  under 
the  rule  of  the  Lords  Baltimore. 

The  following  names  appear  in  the  Register  of  old  Stepney  Parish : 








^  Griffen 





\  Handy 









\  Dennis 





N  Denwood 



^  Stone 








^  Horsey 




N  Dixon 










































^  Price 









^  l,owe 

Revel  1 












Built  1741 

A  SHORT  distance  above  the  mouth  of  the  Wicomico  River  this 
body  of  water  narrows  down  and  follows  a  winding  course  for 
many  miles.  High  land  is  passed,  at  intervals,  on  both  sides  of  the 
river,  and  the  brick  foundations  of  many  old  structures  are  seen  on  a 
trip  up  the  Wicomico  to  Salisbury.  On  one  of  the  banks  of  the  many 
reaches  of  this  river,  after  passing  "Old  Green  Hill  Church,"  stands 
a  large  red-brick  house  with  a  shingled  gambrel  roof  and  quaint 
dormer  windows — this  is  "Pemberton  Hall,"  one  of  the  homes  of  the 
distinguished  Handy  family  of  Wicomico  County. 

This  house  was  built  in  1741  by  one  of  the  Handys,  and  the  date 
of  building  can  be  seen  in  the  brick  end  of  the  house,  the  figures  being 
outlined  in  black  bricks.  "Pemberton  Hall"  is  probably  the  third 
oldest  building  standing  in  Wicomico  County — "Green  Hill  Church," 
built  in  1733,  and  the  "Ben  Davis  House,"  which  was  the  church 
parsonage,  are  older.  The  interior  of  this  colonial  homestead  is  typical 
of  the  homes  of  that  period.  Upon  entering  the  front  door  a  wide  hall 
is  seen  extending  through  the  house  from  north  to  south,  and  in  its 



earlier  days  might  have  been  called  a  living-room.  The  west  end  of 
the  lower  floor  is  one  large  room,  where  the  dances  and  celebrations 
of  colonial  times  were  held.  On  the  east  side  of  the  hall  are  two  large 
rooms,  one  of  which  was  the  dining-room  and  is  so  used  today.  The 
old  staircase  is  very  graceful  and  is  made  of  heart  pine,  which  wood 
was  also  used  for  all  the  floors.  This  woodwork  is  well  preserved  and 
in  almost  as  good  condition  as  when  the  house  was  built.  The  kitchen, 
located  on  the  east  side  of  the  house,  was  separated  from  the  main 
building  by  a  colonnade,  both  of  which  were  of  wood  and  up  to  twenty- 
five  years  ago  the  original  structure  stood. 

In  addition  to  this  place,  the  Handys  were  also  owners  of  "Pem- 
berton,"  on  the  west  side  of  the  Wicomico  River,  and  "Pemberton's 
Good  Will,"  located  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river.  In  1732,  the 
town  of  Salisbury  was  established  by  an  Act  of  the  Assembly  on  the 
land  of  William  Winder,  a  minor,  and  laid  out,  adjoining  the  cele- 
brated "Handy  Hall"  farm  on  the  east.  The  Handys  at  that  time 
owned  "Pemberton's  Good  Will"  and  "Pemberton,"  which  included 
"Pemberton  Hall"  and  "Handy's  Hall."  These  Handys  and  their 
descendants,  many  of  whom  were  lawyers  and  jurists  of  distinction, 
owned  both  of  these  properties  until  1835,  when  they  were  purchased 
by  Jehu  Parsons  and  by  will  devised  to  his  son,  Alison  C.  Parsons.  On 
the  death  of  the  latter,  in  1868,  the  farm  was  sold  at  trustee's  sale  to 
Elihu  E.  Jackson  and  James  Cannon,  who  afterward  divided  the  farm 
— Cannon  keeping  the  part  on  the  riverside  until  he  sold  it  to  Cadmus 
J.  Taylor,  who  remained  there  until  his  death,  and  it  now  belongs  to 
his  son,  James  Ichabod  Taylor,  who  continues  to  reside  at  "Pemberton 

[  186 

Built  lyq^ 

THE  property  known  as  "Pemberton's  Good  Will"  was  purchased 
by  Maj.  Levin  Handy,  who  came  to  Maryland  from  Rhode  Island, 
in  1795,  from  heirs  of  Capt.  John  Winder.  Major  Handy's  former 
State  is  used  with  his  name  in  the  deed  to  distinguish  him  from  Col. 
Levin  Handy,  of  the  Revolutionary  Army,  although  it  is  said  that 
the  Major  was  originally  from  Somerset.  These  Winder  heirs  were 
the  three  daughters  of  Captain  Winder,  who  had  married,  respectively, 
J.  R.  Morris,  Levin  Handy  and  David  Wilson.  Capt.  John  Winder 
was  the  father  of  Governor  Levin  Winder  and  Maj. -Gen.  William  H. 
Winder.  A  son  of  David  Wilson  and  Priscilla  Winder  was  Col. 
Ephraim  King  Wilson,  the  elder.  Representative  in  the  Twentieth 
and  Twenty-first  Congresses,  and  the  father  of  Senator  Ephraim 
King  Wilson,  the  younger.  Colonel  Wilson  married  a  daughter  of 
Col.  Samuel  Handy,  of  Worcester. 

After  buying  "Pemberton's  Good  Will,"  Major  Handy  built  the 
present  mansion,  using  largely  New  Jersey  heart  pine  and  sparing  no 
cost  in  the  construction.    Its  large  rooms  and  spacious  hall  lend  them- 



selves  now,  as  in  past  generations,  kdmirably  to  social  functions.  The 

interior  finish — woodwork  and  paifiting — have  been  of  keen  interest 
to  the  community  for  years,  and  much  praised  by  those  seeking  true 
colonial  models.  George  W.  D.  Waller,  the  present  owner  and  occu- 
pant of  "Poplar  Hill  Mansion,"  wishing  to  restore  some  of  this  work, 
could  find  no  artisan  in  his  neighborhood  to  undertake  it  and  was 
told  that  this  craftsmanship  of  a  century  ago  was  now  unknown. 

After  Maj.  Levin  Handy,  the  property  was  owned  by  Peter 
Dashiell,  a  brother-in-law  of  Dr.  John  Huston,  to  whom  he  conveyed 
"Poplar  Hill"  in  1805.  Major  Handy  had,  in  the  meanwhile,  returned 
to  Newport,  Rhode  Island.  Dr.  Huston,  a  physician  of  wide  reputa- 
tion, lived  in  the  mansion  and  practiced  medicine  in  Salisbury  until 
his  death,  about  the  middle  of  the  last  century.  One  of  his  old  family 
servants,  who  recently  died,  at  an  advanced  age,  Saul  Huston,  was 
the  wealthiest  colored  man  in  that  section  of  the  State.  As  is  almost 
invariably  the  case  with  old  family  servants  of  the  Eastern  Shore — 
but  very  few  of  whom  now  survive — Saul  was  shrewd,  dignified,  with 
a  quick  brain  and  pleasing  personality,  and  carried  the  impress  of  old- 
time  manners  and  virtues. 

Dr.  Huston  left  a  large  family;  one  of  his  daughters  married 
William  W.  Handy,  and  they  became  the  parents  of  John  Huston 
Handy,  the  noted  Maryland  lawyer;  another.  Dr.  Cathell  Humphreys, 
and  a  third,  Thomas  Robertson,  who  occupied  the  mansion  until  it 
was  purchased  by  George  Waller,  father  of  the  present  owner.  A 
house  of  much  earlier  construction  stood  on  "Poplar  Hill,"  and  the 
back  building,  now  connected  by  a  colonnade,  (built  by  Major  Handy), 
with  the  mansion,  was  the  original  Winder  residence.  A  grove  of 
Lombardy  poplars,  the  largest  ever  known  to  grow  in  that  section, 
originally  surrounded  the  mansion,  but  they  have  disappeared,  and 
the  tree  is  no  longer  found  in  that  part  of  the  Eastern  Shore.  A  large 
section  of  the  city  of  Salisbury  was  built  on  the  "Pemberton's  Good 
Will"  tract.  Isabella  Street  and  Elizabeth  Street  are  named  for  Dr. 
Huston's  daughters. 

Col.  Isaac  Handy,  the  progenitor  of  the  Somerset  family,  settled 
on  the  Wicomico  River  in  1665,  three  miles  from  the  site  of  Salisbury, 
and  did  an  importing  business  on  the  present  Main  Street.  Salisbury 
was  known  as  "Handy's  Landing"  until  1732. 


^'Rokawakin'"  Church 

DR.  ALFRED  NEVIN,  in  his  "History  of  the  Presbytery  of  Phila- 
delphia and  Philadelphia  Central"  writes:  "The  Presbyterians 
had  their  meeting  houses  in  Snow  Hill,  Pitts  Creek,  Wicomico,  Mano- 
kin  and  Rehoboth,  as  early  as  1680."  The  frontispiece  map  shown  in 
"The  Days  of  Makemie,"  by  Rev.  L.  P.  Bowen,  D.D.,  indicates  the 
location  of  these  early  established  churches.  The  church  as  originally 
built  on  the  Wicomico  River  was  on  what  is  now  the  "Anderson 
Farm,"  called  the  "Upper  Ferry"  on  the  main  thoroughfare  from 
Princess  Anne  to  Barren  Creek.  Around  this  church  at  the  time  of 
the  Revolutionary  War  were  quite  a  number  of  Presbyterian  families. 
Among  the  more  noted  were  those  of  Major  Roxburgh,  the  Slemonses, 
Andersons,  Irvings,  Lynchs,  Ellegoods,  Pollitts  and  Taylors.  After 
the  original  church  became  dilapidated  and  the  population  extended 
farther  northward,  the  old  church  was  removed  from  its  site  at  the 
"Ferry"  to  the  road  crossing  at  the  "Rokawakin  Creek,"  four  miles 
from  Salisbury.  The  architecture  of  this  church,  as  shown  in  the 
picture,  is  similar  to  that  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal  Spring  Hill 



Church  and  tradition  has  it  that  the  framing,  including  sills,  rafters 
and  sleepers  were  the  material  of  the  old  church. 

That  the  Presbyterian  Church  was  firmly  established  on  the  lower 
Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland  by  Francis  Makemie  there  is  no  doubt. 
The  following  is  quoted  from  "The  Days  of  Makemie,"  and  shows 
the  activities  of  this  remarkable  man: 

"The  months  that  followed  were  privileged  seasons  in  the  lives  of 
our  Presbyterian  colonists.  Mr.  Makemie  was  everywhere,  cheering 
the  hearts  of  the  scattered  Calvinists,  preaching  on  the  Annamessex, 
preaching  on  the  Manokin,  preaching  on  the  Wicomico,  preaching  up 
toward  the  head  of  navigation  on  the  Pocomoke,  preaching  on  the 
seaboard,  preaching  down  on  the  Virginia  line." 

Prior  to  1764  the  Manokin  and  Wicomico  churches  were  united 
under  one  pastorate.  One  of  the  events  of  interest  in  the  "History  of 
the  Manokin  Presbyterian  Church,"  under  date  of  April  26,  1796,  is 
the  following :  "Ordered,  that  a  collection  be  taken  in  the  congregation 
every  Sabbath  during  the  time  the  Rev.  John  Collins  is  appointed  by 
Presbytery  to  preach."  The  following  is  entered  upon  the  sessional 
minutes  at  this  time :  "The  Presbytery  ....  directs  that  the  Rev. 
Johh  Collins  supply  every  third  Sabbath  at 'Rokawakin'  (Wicomico), 
Manokin  and  Rehoboth,  in  rotation,  till  the  last  of  August,  the  rest 
of  his  time,  until  the  next  sessions,  to  be  at  his  own  discretion." 

Appropriate  to  the  passing  of  many  of  these  sacred  edifices,  are 
the  closing  words  of  a  sermon  delivered  by  the  Rev.  A.  C.  Heaton. 
D.D.,  Sunday,  May  4,  1865. 

"Where  many  a  pious  foot  hath  trod 
That  now  is  dust,  beneath  the  sod ; 
Where  many  a  sacred  tear  was  wept. 
From  eyes  that  long  in  death  have  slept. 
The  temple's  builders,  where  are  they — 
The  worshippers?   All  passed  away. 
We  rear  the  perishable  wall. 
But  ere  it  crumble,  we  must  fall." 

[  igo 

Built  about  1733 

SITUATED  on  the  northwest  bank  of  the  Wicomico  River  a  short 
distance  westerly  of  "Green  Hill  Church,"  is  an  old  house  known 
as  the  "Ben  Davis  House."  This  property  has  been  in  the  Davis 
family  for  many  years  and  is  now  owned  by  the  heirs  of  Ben  Davis, 
Jr.  Unfortunately  this  house  is  no  longer  occupied  and  is  rapidly 
going  to  ruin,  yet  the  lines  indicate  that  one  day  it  was  a  substantial 
homestead.  It  is  said  to  have  been  the  parsonage  connected  with 
"Green  Hill  Church."  This  house  is  situated  on  the  bank  of  the  river 
like  the  church  and  has  a  commanding  view  of  the  river  for  miles.  In 
the  days  when  people  traveled  to  church  in  boats  it  must  have  been 
a  wonderful  sight  to  see  the  river,  for  miles,  white  with  the  sails  of 
the  parishioners'  canoes  coming  to  attend  divine  service.  The  shift- 
ing of  the  population  nearer  the  towns  and  building  of  State  high- 
ways are  the  chief  reasons  for  these  old  structures  and  homes  becom- 
ing deserted. 

IQI  ] 

Opposite  "Green  Hill" 

THE  "Chase  House,"  built  of  wood,  stands  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Wicomico  River,  nearly  opposite  "Green  Hill,"  and  is  well  pre- 
served. Tradition  gives  the  date  of  its  building  as  about  the  same  time 
as  that  of  "Pemberton  Hall."  Here  Rev.  Thomas  Chase  lived  while 
rector  of  Somerset  Parish,  and  here  his  son,  Samuel  Chase,  among 
the  greatest  of  American  lawyers,  was  born,  April  17,  1741.  Rev. 
Thomas  Chase,  for  the  last  thirty-four  years  of  his  life,  was  rector  of 
St.  Paul's  Parish,  in  Baltimore  City,  being  appointed  by  Governor 
Bladen,  February  1 1,  1745.  He  died  April  4,  1779,  when  his  son  had 
attained  high  rank  at  the  bar,  and  as  a  leader  in  the  Revolution. 
Taught  the  classics  and  English  branches  by  his  father,  Samuel 
Chase  studied  law  at  Annapolis,  where  he  made  his  home.  He  was 
elected  to  the  Assembly  repeatedly  from  1764  to  1784;  sat  in  the 
Continental  Congress  in  1 774-1 778;  went  with  Benjamin  Franklin 
and  Charles  Carroll  on  a  special  mission  to  Canada  in  1774;  signed 
the  Declaration  of  Independence;  removed  to  Baltimore  in  1786,  after 
another  term  in  Congress;  was  appointed  Judge  of  the  Baltimore 
Criminal  Court,    1788,   and  Chief  Judge  of  the  General  Court  of 

[   IQ2] 


Maryland,  i/qi ;  President  Washington  named  him  an  Associate  Jus- 
tice of  the  United  States  Supreme  Court  in  i/qb,  and  he  served  as 
such  until  his  death  in  Washington,  June  iq,  i8ii.  Boldest  among 
the  Maryland  patriots,  he  early  counseled  independence,  and  in  the 
Congress  declared,  "by  the  God  of  Heaven,  I  owe  no  allegiance  to  the 
King  of  Great  Britain!" 

Of  the  nine  impeachment  trials  before  the  United  States  Senate, 
that  of  Judge  Chase,  in  1805,  is,  next  to  the  impeachment  of  President 
Johnson,  the  most  notable.  Johnson's  acquittal  was  made  possible 
by  the  vote  of  an  Eastern  Shore  Senator,  George  Vickers,  of  Kent, 
and  Chase,  an  Eastern  Shoreman  by  birth,  was  defended  in  his  trial 
by  an  Eastern  Shoreman  by  adoption,  Luther  Martin.  Martin 
learned  his  first  law  in  the  library  of  Judge  Solomon  Wright  at 
"Blakeford,"  while  he  was  teaching  school  at  Queenstown,  and 
attained  his  first  eminence  at  the  bar  in  Somerset.  On  the  advice  of 
Chase,  he  was  made  Attorney-General  of  Maryland,  and  after  twenty- 
seven  years  in  this  office  appeared  before  the  Senate  as  Chases  chief 
advocate.    Goddard  says: 

Judge  Chase  had  been  most  injudicious  in  his  remarks  concerning  Presi- 
dent Jefferson's  official  course.  Yet  that  he  was  not  deserving  of  impeachment 
the  result  of  a  trial  before  a  body  containing  a  majority  politically  opposed 
to  him,  clearly  indicates.  The  impeachment  was  not  sustained,  only  three  of 
the  eight  articles  receiving  even  a  majority  of  the  votes  of  the  Senators,  none 
the  requisite  two-thirds. 

Delisle  writes: 

No  man  ever  stood  higher  for  honesty  of  purpose  and  integrity  of  motive 
than  Judge  Chase.  Notwithstanding  the  rancor  of  such  party  feeling  as  dared 
to  charge  President  Washington  with  appropriating  the  public  money  to  his 
private  use  did  all  in  its  power  to  pluck  the  ermine  from  his  shoulders,  yet  his 
purity  beamed  the  brighter  as  the  clouds  grew  darker  and  he  lived  to  hear  the 
last  whisper  of  calumny  flit  by  like  a  bat  in  the  morning  twilight. 

At  this  trial  Aaron  Burr,  whom  Martin  was  two  years  later  to  so 
effectively  defend  at  Richmond  on  the  indictment  for  treason,  pre- 
sided. Judge  Chase  built  the  "Chase  House"  at  Annapolis  in  \-j-jo— 
the  only  colonial  three-story  dwelling  in  "The  Ancient  City." 

One  of  the  recent  owners  of  the  Somerset  ancestral  Chase  home- 
stead was  Henry  J.  Dashiell,  the  grandfather  of  Congressman  Jesse  D. 
Price,  of  the  First  District.  Mr.  Dashiell  sold  it  to  Col.  Lemuel 
Malone,  and  the  present  owner  is  Ephraim  Bounds. 

[  193  ] 

On  Original  Site 

HISTORY,  the  record  of  men  and  the  things  they  do,  is  valuable 
according  to  its  adherence  to  truth;  and  it  is  equally  false,  cer- 
tainly in  its  purposes,  if  it  leaves  unrecorded  that  which  had  most 
important  consequences.  In  other  States  and  places  families  and 
names  disappear,  but  the  history  of  the  Eastern  Shore  of  Maryland 
is  largely  read  in  its  family  names. 

No  reference,  however  brief,  to  Wicomico  County  would  be  true 
to  itself  and  to  the  people  of  which  it  is  a  record  if  nothing  were  said 
about  Spring  Hill  Church — once  the  church  of  Stepney  Parish,  which 
has  been  the  center  of  the  parish  life  for  a  century  and  a  half.  The 
history  of  Spring  Hill  Church  is  the  history  of  the  old  families  con- 
tributing to  its  support,  influenced  by  its  teachings,  the  people  for 
whom  it  has  so  long  been  the  center  of  religious,  social  and  intellectual 
life.  These  are  the  family  names  which  themselves,  by  their  mention, 
tell  the  history  of  this  old  church,  and  so  largely  the  history  of  that 
part  of  Wicomico  County,  for  generations :  the  Hitches,  Robertsons, 
Wallers,  Howards,  Gillises,  Fowlers,  Freenys,  Gordys,  Weatherlys — 
names  synonymous  with  the  church,  and  a  large  part  of  the  county. 

[  194  ] 

Built  about  1766 

THE  "Bishop  Stone  House"  was  built  on  a  tract  of  land  which, 
for  a  number  of  years  was  in  the  Stone  family,  and  is  situated 
about  half  way  between  Salisbury  and  Spring  Hill  Church,  on  the 
old  stage  road  leading  from  Salisbury  to  Barren  Creek,  Vienna,  and 
up  the  Eastern  Shore. 

The  special  feature  of  interest  in  connection  with  this  house  is  the 
fact  it  was  the  home  of  the  third  Bishop  of  the  Diocese  of  Maryland. 
Bishop  William  Murray  Stone  was  born  in  Somerset  County,  June  i , 
1 779,  and  was  educated  at  and  graduated  from  Washington  College, 
Chestertown.  He  was  elected  and  consecrated  Bishop  of  the  Diocese 
of  Maryland,  October  21,  1830,  and  lived  in  this  house  until  his 
death,  February  26,  1838.  At  the  convention  which  elected  him  there 
was  rivalry  as  to  who  should  be  chosen  Bishop  of  the  Protestant 
Episcopal  Church  in  Maryland.  As  a  compromise,  the  convention 
decided  upon  the  oldest  minister  in  the  diocese  and  it  was  found  that 
Rev.  William  Murray  Stone  was  the  oldest,  and  therefore  he  was 

[  195] 


duly  elected  and  consecrated  bishop.  After  his  death  the  property 
was  sold  and  the  family  removed  to  the  south  side  of  the  Wicomico 
River,  now  in  Somerset  County.  Dr.  Stone,  the  surviving  son  of  the 
bishop,  died  a  few  years  ago,  having  passed  his  "three  score  years  and 
ten."  The  property  is  now  owned  by  E.  Jackson  Pusey,  of  Salisbury. 
The  residence  is  in  a  well-preserved  condition  and  is  said  to  have 
been  built  about  a  century  and  a  half  ago. 

The  remains  of  Bishop  Stone  for  many  years  rested  in  the  burying 
ground  on  this  place,  but  after  it  passed  from  the  Stone  family  were 
removed  to  Parsons'  Cemetery,  Salisbury.  In  1878  the  Dioceses  of 
Maryland  and  Easton  erected  a  handsome  monument  over  the  grave 
as  a  memorial  of  the  Church's  love  of  Bishop  Stone.  On  the  monu- 
ment is  the  following  inscription: 

In  loving  memory  of  the 

Rt.  Rev.  Wm.  Murray  Stone,  D.D. 


Bishop  of  Maryland. 

On  the  tomb  the  inscription  is  as  follows: 

This  stone  marks  the  Hallowed  resting  place  of  one  who  faithful  unto  death 
now  rejoices  in  the  crown  of  life  which  God  has  prepared  for  those  that  love  him. 
The  Right  Rev.  William  M.  Stone,  D.D.  was  born  June  i,  1779,  was  Rector  of 
Spring  Hill  and  Stepney  Parishes  more  than  25  years,  was  consecrated  Bishop  of 
Maryland  October  21,  1830,  and  died  26th  of  Feb.  1838. 
He  was  eminently  meek  and  had  not  foes 
His  heart  was  warm  and  true  and  he  had  cordial  friends 
Office  and  honor  sought  him  in  the  retirement  which  he  loved 
Patience  and  faith  sustained  him  in  the  trials  of  his  pilgrimage 
And  hope  never  forsook  him  until  she  beheld  him  in  the  fruition  of  the  everlasting 
promises  of  the  Master  whom  he  had  devotedly  served. 


!JL~  ^» 

On  Wicomico  River 

LOCATED  on  a  high  bank  on  the  south  side  of  the  Wicomico  River, 
-'  at  the  junction  of  Tony  Tank  Creek  and  the  river,  about  two 
miles  from  Salisbury,  is  "Cherry  Hill,"  the  home  of  the  Somers  and 
Gunby  families  for  the  past  two  centuries. 

This  place  derives  its  name  from  the  first  patent,  in  which  the 
land  is  called  "Cherry  Hill."  The  original  house  was  built  of  wood,  but 
has  been  rebuilt  by  the  present  owner,  Louis  W.  Gunby,  of  Salisbury. 
The  interior,  however,  has  been  preserved,  with  its  broad  fireplaces 
and  curved  staircase,  borders  of  scrollwork  and  the  flooring  of  heart 
pine.  The  chimneys  are  on  the  outside,  as  originally  built,  and  the 
house  has  a  very  picturesque  appearance  from  the  river,  and  from 
the  house  there  is  an  extended  view  of  the  Wicomico  above  and 
below  for  miles. 

There  were  several  owners  of  "Cherry  Hill"  before  it  came  into 
the  possession  of  Capt.  Samuel  Somers,  about  the  end  of  the  eight- 
eenth century,  who  added  to  and  enlarged  the  house  that  had  been 
there  many  years.  Captain  Somers  was  a  noted  sea  captain  and 
traded  with  the  West  and  East  Indies  to  Baltimore  and  to  "Cherrv 



Hill,"  where  he  had  large  warehouses  for  the  storage  of  the  goods 
brought  on  his  trips,  and  supplied  the  back  country  extending  to 
Snow  Hill. 

He  was  of  the  noted  Somers  family,  members  of  which  served  in 
the  Revolutionary  War  and  the  War  of  1812.  One  of  his  ancestors, 
George  Somers,  is  said  to  have  raised  the  first  British  flag  on  Bermuda 
Island  after  being  shipwrecked  there.  Captain  Somers'  only  son, 
William  D.  Somers,  died  without  male  issue,  having  one  daughter, 
who  is  now  Mary  Pollitt.  Captain  Somers'  two  daughters  married 
brothers,  John  and  William  Gunby.  The  present  owner  of  the  old 
family  residence,  Louis  W.  Gunby,  of  Salisbury,  is  a  son  of  Charlotte 
Somers  and  John  Gunby,  and  he  has  made  this  old  mansion  and  its 
surrounding  grounds  one  of  the  most  beautiful  country  homes  on  the 
Eastern  Shore. 


y  / 







, — ■ 


C^tv    'JM/M^^jB^a   -'  ^ 

C  '          J        t. 

,-K  -mwhi 



.  ■    i,  , 



Established  1782 

WASHINGTON  College  was  established  by  an  Act  of  the  Legisla- 
ture of  Maryland  in  1782.  It  ranks  as  the  oldest  college  in 
Maryland,  and  the  eleventh  in  order  of  foundation  in  the  country. 
There  had  been  in  existence  in  Chestertown  the  Kent  County  School, 
which  dates  back  certainly  to  1723,  and  which  probably  had  its 
beginning  at  a  still  earlier  unknown  date.  The  college  charter  merely 
"enlarged  the  plan  of  the  Kent  County  School  by  engrafting  thereon 
a  system  of  liberal  education  in  the  arts  and  sciences." 

The  college  was  the  concept  of  the  distinguished  divine,  publicist 
and  educator.  Rev.  William  Smith,  D.D.,  who  served  both  as  the 
first  president  of  the  Board  of  Visitors  and  Governors,  and  first 
principal  of  the  college.  Under  Dr.  Smith's  direction  and  influence  a 
foundation  sum  of  ten  thousand  pounds  was  subscribed,  mainly  by 
citizens  of  the  Eastern  Shore,  in  consideration  of  which  subscription 
the  State  pledged  the  annual  appropriation — the  income  from  certain 
licenses  and  fees.  The  State,  however,  soon  came  to  discharge  this 
obligation  very  irregularly  and  the  progress  of  the  college  was  thereby 

[  200  ] 


liampered.  During  the  past  decade  the  State  has  made  reasonably 
generous  appropriations  for  maintenance  and  improvements,  and  the 
college  has  shown  a  marked  development  in  every  respect. 

George  Washington's  connection  with  the  college  is  peculiar  and 
interesting.  In  a  letter  dated  Newburg,  New  York,  August  i8,  1782, 
he  graciously  accepted  the  compliment  of  giving  his  name  to  the 
college.  In  the  same  letter  he  contributed  the  sum  of  fifty  guineas 
toward  the  foundation.  In  1784  he  visited  the  college,  subscribed  his 
name  as  a  member  of  the  corporation  of  'Visitors  and  Governors,  and 
attended  the  commencement  of  that  year.  In  178Q  the  degree  of 
Doctor  of  Laws  was  conferred  upon  him  by  the  college.  This  diploma, 
together  with  the  diplomas  for  the  like  degree  conferred  by  the  uni- 
versities of  Yale,  Harvard,  Brown  and  Pennsylvania,  is  carefully  pre- 
served in  the  archives  of  the  Congressional  Library  at  'W-^ashington. 

The  original  building  at  Washington  College,  the  cornerstone  of 
which  was  laid  by  Governor  Paca  in  1783,  was  probably  the  most 
imposing  college  building  in  the  country  at  the  time.  It  had  a  frontage 
of  160  feet,  and  contained  class-rooms,  living-rooms  for  students  and 
instructors,  and  an  auditorium  in  the  rear.  This  building  was 
destroyed  by  fire  in  1827.  Owing  to  the  failure  of  the  State  to  fulfill 
its  promises  in  the  matter  of  appropriations,  and  the  difficulty  of 
raising  money  in  other  ways,  it  was  not  until  1844  that  sufficient 
means  were  at  hand  to  begin  the  rebuilding  of  the  college.  The 
college  was  not,  howev^er,  closed  in  the  meantime,  as  the  classes  were 
conducted  in  rented  quarters.  In  1844  Middle  Hall  was  erected  and 
ten  years  later  two  additional  buildings,  known  as  East  Hall  and 
West  Hall,  were  built.  The  past  ten  years  has  shown  the  most  marked 
development  in  the  history  of  the  college.  The  faculty  has  been 
increased ;  the  curriculum  rearranged  and  new  courses  of  study  intro- 
duced; the  requirements  for  admission  and  graduation  have  been 
raised;  an  athletic  field,  with  stands  and  a  cinder  running-track, 
graded  and  enclosed,  and  two  new  buildings,  William  Smith  Hall 
and  the  gymnasium,  erected. 

The  physical  equipment  of  the  college  consists  of  four  residence 
halls  for  students;  three  houses  for  professors;  the  old  gymnasium, 
soon  to  be  converted  into  sick  quarters;  William  Smith  Hall,  con- 
taining the  offices,  recitation  rooms,  library,  laboratories  and  audi- 

[  201  ] 


torium;  the  gymnasium,  a  commodious  and  well-equipped  building 
for  physical  training  and  indoor  games,  and  Washington  Athletic 
Field.  These  buildings  are  situated  on  a  beautiful  campus  of  about 
sixteen  acres,  improved  with  convenient  walks,  well-kept  lawns,  shade 
trees  and  ornamental  shrubbery. 

Washington  College  has  experienced  the  vicissitudes  common  to 
all  colleges  of  early  foundation  in  this  country,  but  it  has  persisted 
through  these  changes  and  shown  an  ever-increasing  vitality.  Its 
doors  have  never  been  closed.  At  all  times  it  has  clung  to  high  ideals 
of  scholarship  and  character,  and  given  to  the  State  and  the  nation 
invaluable  service  in  the  training  of  young  men  for  good  citizenship. 

President  cf  Washington  College 

The  present  Board  of  Governors  of  Washington  College  is  composed  of 

James  Alfred  Pearce 

Samuel  Vannort 
George  B.  Westcott 
Hope  H.  Barroll 
John  Walter  Smith 
Harry  J.  Hopkins 
James  E.  Ellegood 
Dr.  John  W.  Mace 
J.  Frank  Harper 
T.  Alan  Goldsborough 
W.  Mason  Shehan 
Dr.  Harry  L.  Dodd 

Lewin  W.  Wickes 

Clarence  W.  Perkins 
William  W.  Beck 
Philip  G.  Wilmer 
John  D.  Urie 
Dr.  Harry  Simpers 
Dr.  Frank  B.  Hines 
S.  Scott  Beck 
William  B.  Usilton 
Curtis  E.  Crane 
Harrison  W.  Vickers 
Harry  C  Willis 

Eben  F.  Perkins  is  Treasurer  of  the  Board 

[  202  ] 

On  the  Eastern  Shore 

I  CANNOT  call  this  book  complete  without  a  few  words  of  tribute 
to  those  men — in  the  main  descendants  of  the  colonial  pioneers — 
who  lead  the  "simple  life"  on  the  waterfront  of  the  Eastern  Shore. 
My  official  work  for  many  years  has  brought  me  into  personal  con- 
tact with  them  and  their  families.  Down  on  the  banks  of  most  of 
our  navigable  rivers  in  tidewater  Maryland  are  many  small  vine- 
covered  cottages  with  flowers  in  the  yards.  It  has  been  my  frequent 
good  fortune  to  partake  of  meals  in  these  homes  in  every  Eastern 
Shore  county  and  the  feeling  of  "I  share  what  I  have  with  you"  lends 
the  air  of  hospitality  which  makes  this  section  distinctive,  even  in 
the  fisherman's  cottage. 

Upon  a  recent  visit  to  the  Straits  District,  in  the  lower  part  of 
Dorchester  County,  on  Elliott's  Island,  which  is  separated  from  the 
mainland  by  six  miles  of  marsh  roads,  I  stopped  for  dinner  at  the 
home  of  an  interesting  old  lady — bent,  but  having  the  use  of  all  her 
faculties.  During  the  course  of  our  conversation  she  told  me  that 
she  had  passed  her  ninety-seventh  milestone,  having  been  born  at 

[  203  ] 


Bishop's  Head  in  Dorchester.  She  proudly  related  that  her  grand- 
father was  also  born  in  the  county,  had  lived  to  be  over  a  century, 
and  had  fought  for  the  independence  of  the  American  colonies. 

Wrong  impressions  have  been  circulated  in  other  parts  of  Mary- 
land and  its  neighboring  States,  which  have  led  many  people  to  con- 
demn the  watermen  of  the  Eastern  Shore  as  a  class,  and  to  entertain 
an  erroneous  impression  of  them  as  "pirates.  "  Upon  the  whole,  they 
are  good  citizens,  almost  entirely  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  race,  of  worthy 
lineage  linking  them  with  the  early  colonists,  true  to  their  own  tradi- 
tional code  of  honor,  with  strong  home  instincts,  sturdy  and  self- 

Their  forefathers  have  fought  on  the  battlefields  of  every  war  in 
which  this  nation  has  been  engaged,  and  should  our  country,  in  their 
generation,  be  so  unfortunate  as  to  be  drawn  into  armed  conflict  with 
any  other,  these  men  of  the  "sun-tanned  brow  "  and  the  "horny  hand," 
accustomed  to  hardship  and  willing  to  make  sacrifices,  even  to  the 
last  of  all,  would  be  prompt  in  response  to  their  country's  call.  Such 
wars  may  God  forbid,  and  this  productive  Peninsula  never  be  plowed 
by  enemy  shells,  and  our  remaining  colonial  relics  destroyed  by  shot 
and  torch. 

S.  E. 







APR  3  9  1942 



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